Thursday, August 21, 2008

18 Shakespeare Adaptations

At first I thought this list was going for movies that were other than "original text in a different time and place", but he includes Luhrman's R+J, Ethan Hawke's 2000 Hamlet, and others that I would have considered relatively tame interpretations.

Most are old favorites easily recognized, like Ran, Throne of Blood, Forbidden Planet and so on.  However, I did find a few I'd never heard of, including "Men of Respect" (a gangster Macbeth starring John Turturro) and "Happy Campers", apparently a teen-sex comedy done up as an "airy, Midsummer Night's Dream farce."

Bonus points for mentioning the cult "Tromeo And Juliet", which you'll either recognize immediately if you know the Troma work, or you'll have no idea what's going on.    I never saw that one, but I do remember hearing about a quote that stuck with me - "How about I use your guts to Jackson Pollock the street?"  I remember thinking, "Now, see, there's a creative image."

Quote of the article, re: Prospero's Books...

Among its many virtues: Prospero's Books is a dream come true for those who think that what Shakesepeare's plays most lack are dozens and dozens of shots of male genitalia.

Between that and Ian McKellen's King Lear, what is the fascination with Shakespearean actors getting naked?

1 comment:

Craig said...

"Men of Respect"--it's, well, different. Worth a look some time, but better if you've been drinking. "Scotland, PA" is a much better choice. There was an even earlier gangster movie, back in the 30's, called "Joe Macbeth," but I've never seen it on video, and can't tell you if it's any good.

There's also a Bollywood film called "Maqbool" that is set in the Mumbai underworld. I've been meaning to get around to that one.

The question "Prospero's Books" always brings up for _me_ is, "Why is male nudity such a big damn deal?" Female frontal nudity is such a non-event that it hardly merits mentioning in a review--but got help you if there's a PENIS in your movie. Probably says something important about our civilization.