Recommend good Shakespeare film adaptations? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-21-2010, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night DH and I watched Baz Lurhmann's Romeo + Juliet, which I'd only seen once before, when I was clearly too callow to appreciate it. Anyway I loved it, and it reminded me that when I actually buckle down and watch Shakespeare I really enjoy it.

So. I've seen:

-Al Pacino's The Merchant of Venice, which is STUPENDOUS. I mean, mind-blowingly good.
-The Kenneth Branagh 4-hour Hamlet, which I liked... eventually... it took me a while to get into it, but I'm glad I persevered.
-A cheapo production of Antony and Cleopatra, which I suspect was done by the BBC. Loved the play, but wasn't too taken with the presentation.

Um. That's all I can think of. I've seen The Taming of the Shrew as a play, and Hamlet again, and maybe a few others - one of the twins/mistaken identities ones, which I realise doesn't narrow it down a lot!

Plus I enjoyed Shakespeare in Love; haven't seen 10 Things I Hate About You or She's the Man, though.

Any recommendations? Are there any good film versions of Macbeth? I've read it, but never seen it in any format.

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Old 10-21-2010, 11:05 AM
 
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I think the Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing is enjoyable. It looks wonderful. Great scenery and mostly good acting and they look like they are having fun. There are a couple of odd casting choices, but overall it's a good version.

Another is Branagh's Henry V. I prefer it to the Laurence Olivier version, but you could watch both and compare yourself.

DS just watched the Ethan Hawke version of Hamlet because he's studying it in school. He dissed it. It's been years since I watched it, but I agreed with him, and we both agreed the Mel Gibson version was worse. He's at an arts school, so they reviewed a couple of versions.

I tried to watch Al Pacino's Looking for Richard, a documentary of sorts, where he shows scenes from Richard III along with scenes from rehearsals. Honestly, it put me to sleep and I never finished watching it. It has some good reviews though. If you are on a Richard III kick, you could read Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time for a different perspective of Richard.

As for Macbeth, I realized I don't think I've seen a film version. IMDb shows a bunch though, including a recent version set in modern Melbourne, Australia, and a 2010 U.K. version that hasn't been released yet.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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you have go to see the old 1968 version of Romeo and Julliet by the Italian director Franco Zefferelli.
it is so beautiful!
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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Branagh's Henry V is fantastic. Also:

Polanski's Macbeth
The Marlon Brando Julius Caesar
The recent-ish version of A Midsummer Night's Dream with Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania
Laurence Fishburne Othello
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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Ian McKellan's Richard III and Branagh's Henry V. Two of my favourites.

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Old 10-22-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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Oh yeah, the McKellan Richard III is great.
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jalilah View Post
you have go to see the old 1968 version of Romeo and Julliet by the Italian director Franco Zefferelli.
it is so beautiful!
A sentimental favorite of mine, too.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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you have go to see the old 1968 version of Romeo and Julliet by the Italian director Franco Zefferelli.
it is so beautiful!
It's funny, I saw that as a teen and was so swoony over it. When was teaching HS English I couldn't wait to show it to my class. But I showed the Baz Luhrmann version first because I thought they might like it, too. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it. And to my greater surprise, when I showed the Zeffirelli version, it seemed soooo sloooow.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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the best ever, my all time favourite was the not too long ago titus andronicus. i came home after that movie and read the play that night.

its an AMAZING piece of cinematography. i wish you could watch it in a movie theater or at least projected. it is an amazing, amazing work of art.

Laurence Olivier has always been my particular favourite. I grew up with him being 'shakespeare'.

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Old 10-23-2010, 11:40 PM
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Have you seen the version of Hamlet where Mel Gibson plays Hamlet? (when Mel Gibson was much younger.) It is really good.

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Old 10-24-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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subbing.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:41 PM
 
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I second Titus Andronicus, but if it's the version I am thinking of (starring Anthony Hopkins), be warned it is brutal and violent. there are images from that film that were so disturbing I still can't get them out of my head. But I still recommend it.

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Old 10-24-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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yes it is that version

i dont recall the violence at all. however all i remember was that it was a feast for the eyes and a lot will be lost watching it on tv or a computer.

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Old 10-24-2010, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We do have a projector - not super good quality, but it does make epics more exciting - especially after a childhood of watching videos on a ten-inch screen!

Is Titus Andronicus the one in which someone's daughter gets her hands and/or head chopped off?

Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll try to get hold of some of these! I don't think I've read Henry V (or most of the historical ones, really), so it'll be interesting to see that.

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Old 10-25-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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Is Titus Andronicus the one in which someone's daughter gets her hands and/or head chopped off?
yup. hands and tongue. so she cant reveal what she saw and endured.

i am not sure how that is shown in the film. or if it is.

if you enjoyed gladiator you would not enjoy this film.

but if you liked movies like red violin, pan's labryinth (ignoring its weak ending), 300 you will really enjoy this movie too.

oooh i am sooo envious of your projector.

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Old 10-25-2010, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As it happens, I couldn't see what everyone loved about Gladiator, and I did love 300 and Pan's Labyrinth (including the ending - what's wrong with the ending??). So maybe I should give it a go... sometime when DD's not around.

I love our projector too! It actually wasn't that expensive - a couple of hundred dollars second-hand, which is a lot less than you can pay for a decent-sized screen. DH flatted with a guy who had a SUPER $15,000 projector before we got married, and he just couldn't go back to watching stuff on the computer screen. And I figured that I have a degree in film, so I "earned" a decent-sized image for once. It does mean one of our living room walls is mysteriously blank, but I can live with that.

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Old 11-02-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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and Pan's Labyrinth (including the ending - what's wrong with the ending??)..
oh PUHLEEEESE

drop of blood after all the complicated and unpredictable story lines was so so so predictable. that was my one imperfect moment in the movie.

and hey totally OT - since its v. rare i come across people who enjoy my kinda movies, watch Brad Pitt's Snatch if you havent already. i needed to watch it a few times - a couple to really get it - because of the language, but it was a great movie too. also lots of violence. but in a good way if you can call it that.

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Old 11-02-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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Oh yeah, the McKellan Richard III is great.
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Branagh's Henry V.
I liked those. I haven't seen Titus Andronicus though.


I liked Pan's Labrynth, Snatch and 300. I worked in a comic shop for awhile and I am a bit of a Frank ****** fan.


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The recent-ish version of A Midsummer Night's Dream with Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania
That version has Kevin Kline in it as Bottom. I will watch anything with Kevin Kline in it.

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Old 11-02-2010, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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drop of blood after all the complicated and unpredictable story lines was so so so predictable. that was my one imperfect moment in the movie.
Come on... she DIED! How cool is that? Protagonist! Child! Died! I thought it was awesome.

I'm currently watching the David Tennant/Patrick Stewart version of Hamlet in dribs and drabs out of order on YouTube. I have mixed feelings about it, but it is interesting me greatly. David Tennant has a really good feel for the asides - you know, the "how nows" and "the very same"s and all the random interruptions peppered throughout Shakespeare. He puts a lot of snark and humour into them, and they don't seem forced.

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Old 11-02-2010, 05:54 AM
 
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Titus. As if it hasn't been mentioned enough. It's my favorite film, largely because the director is the closest to an artistic idol I have, but the acting was superb as well.

The same director also has an adaptation of The Tempest coming out I think this December ... the trailer is on YouTube if you want to check it out.

ETA: IIRC the version of Othello with Laurence Fishburne wasn't bad, but I haven't seen it since it came out, and I think I was about sixteen at the time, so don't hold me to that perception.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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Have you seen the version of Hamlet where Mel Gibson plays Hamlet? (when Mel Gibson was much younger.) It is really good.




It is, isn't it.

You know, I really really really desperately want to hate his movies as much as I hate him. But I just can't. Sigh.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:32 AM
 
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The same director also has an adaptation of The Tempest coming out I think this December ... the trailer is on YouTube if you want to check it out.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

i did not know that. the trailer looks sooo promising and i am sooo looking forward to Russell Brand as Trinculo. ooh and prosperA instead of prospero. i loooooooooove the wrinkles on Helen Mirren's face.

i know i am in for a treat and wont be disappointed.

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