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Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Siecle

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The essays here read the Shakespeare films of the 1990s as key instruments with which Western culture confronts the anxieties attendant upon the transition from one century to another. Such films as Hamlet, Love's Labour's Lost, Othello, Shakespeare in Love and William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the contributors maintain, engage with some of the most pressing concerns of the present, apocalyptic condition—familial crisis, social estrangement, urban blight, cultural hybridity, literary authority, the impact ...

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Overview

The essays here read the Shakespeare films of the 1990s as key instruments with which Western culture confronts the anxieties attendant upon the transition from one century to another. Such films as Hamlet, Love's Labour's Lost, Othello, Shakespeare in Love and William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the contributors maintain, engage with some of the most pressing concerns of the present, apocalyptic condition—familial crisis, social estrangement, urban blight, cultural hybridity, literary authority, the impact of technology, and the end of history.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A history professor at Princeton University, Natalie Zemon Davis (The Return of Martin Guerre; Women on the Margins) is also a seasoned critic of historical film. With Slaves on Screen: Film and Historical Vision, she discusses how movies represent history differently than books do. Can narrative films achieve the accuracy and authenticity that writers can? "Can there be lively cinematic equivalents to what prose histories try to accomplish in prefaces, bibliographies, and notes and through their modifying and qualifying words `perhaps,' `maybe,' and `we are uncertain about'?" In order to answer these questions, Davis looks at a handful of films that have attempted to capture themes of slavery, struggle and rebellion (Spartacus, Burn!, The Last Supper, Amistad and Beloved) and analyzes the devices they've used to convey history, as they understand and wish to express it. It is her hope that "with patience, imagination, and experimentation, historical narration through film could become both more dramatic and more faithful to the sources from the past." (Harvard Univ., $22.95 176p ISBN 0-674-00444-2; Sept.) Given that Shakespeare is one of the world's most famous interpreters of history, it seems fitting that the 14 academics whose essays form Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Si cle believe that the recent surge of Shakespearean films (Shakespeare in Love, Hamlet, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet) reflects modern man's association of millennium-sized issues with the Bard himself. Edited by Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray (respectively, a reader and a lecturer in English at Queen's University of Belfast), the volume tackles such topics as advancing technology, families at risk and cultural intolerance. Included among the provocative pieces is a gem of an interview with Kenneth Branagh. (St. Martin's, $42 272p ISBN 0-312-23148-2; Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Booknews
Responding to the fact that Shakespeare became big film business during the 1990s, these 13 essays (primarily by UK and US scholars) look at the major Shake films of the decade, arguing that such films engage some of the most pressing concerns of the present day: familial crisis, social estrangement, urban blight, cultural hybridity, literary authority, the role of reading and writing, the impact of technology, and the end of history. Attention paid to lesser-known Shakespeare flicks and an interview with Kenneth Branaugh are nice features of this anthology. Some attempt at a Shakespeare filmography would have been nice as well. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312231484
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.79 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Thornton Burnett is Reader in English and Ramona Wray is Lecturer in English, both at the Queen's University of Belfast.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on the Contributors
Foreword
Introduction 1
1 The Book on the Screen: Shakespeare Films and Textual Culture 10
2 The Postmodern Theatre of Paul Mazursky's Tempest 26
3 Camp Richard III and the Burdens of (Stage/Film) History 40
4 Shakespeare Meets The Godfather: The Postmodern Populism of Al Pacino's Looking for Richard 58
5 Urban Dystopias: Re-approaching Christine Edzard's As You Like It 73
6 Impressions of Fantasy: Adrian Noble's A Midsummer Night's Dream 89
7 'The Way the World is Now': Love in the Troma Zone 102
8 'These Violent Delights have Violent Ends': Baz Luhrmann's Millennial Shakespeare 121
9 'Either for tragedy, comedy': Attitudes of Hamlet in Kenneth Branagh's In the Bleak Midwinter and Hamlet 137
10 The End of History and the Last Man: Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet 147
11 From the Horse's Mouth: Branagh on the Bard 165
12 Virgin and Ape, Venetian and Infidel: Labellings of Otherness in Oliver Parker's Othello 179
13 Shakespeare in Love and the End of the Shakespearean: Academic and Mass Culture Constructions of Literary Authorship 203
Index 232
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