By Russell Jackson
Shakespeare motion pictures within the Making examines the construction and reception of 5 feature-length Shakespeare motion pictures from the 20th century, concentrating on the ways that they articulate visions in their Shakespearean originals, of the fictitious worlds within which the flicks are set, and of the movie-makers' personal society. Warner Brothers' 1935 A Midsummer Night's Dream and MGM's 1936 Romeo and Juliet have been items of the Hollywood approach and replicate the studios' wish to improve their prestige with 'prestige pictures'. Olivier's 1944 Henry V was once a part of Britain's cultural conflict attempt and embodies visions of the medieval previous and perfect management. The Romeo and Juliet motion pictures of Renato Castellani (1954) and Franco Zeffirelli (1968) embodied visions of Renaissance Italy that distinction - in differing methods - with MGM's movie. This ebook deals readings of those major and influential motion pictures, supported through wide archival examine, together with studio records, script revisions, exposure fabrics and experiences.
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Additional info for Shakespeare Films in the Making: Vision, Production and Reception
65 In a shot establishing Demetrius and Lysander on shipboard, we see a pigeon being dispatched to Athens (by Demetrius). It is shown in ‘airplane shots’, heading for the Athenian coast and arriving, then being delivered to Philostrate, who reads the parchment attached to it. The script moves to a public place in Athens, where a herald blows his trumpet as a proclamation is hung on a wall. The craftsmen are established in a series of shots in which they hurry from their respective shops to learn the contents, and in scene 43 (‘PUBLIC SQUARE.
Theseus has delivered his ultimatum to Hermia, who runs off ‘hysterically’ pursued by Lysander. ’ by continuing to laugh, and we cut to a corridor (in the film, the side of the hall) where Lysander Max Reinhardt’s recurring Dream: Hollywood, 1935 35 catches up with Hermia. Hippolyta, who began the sequence in a melancholic state of mind (the shooting script identifies the look in her eyes as ‘homesickness’) seems to have been cheered up. Unfortunately, the final cut of the film leaves her neutral at best.
It was, as Simon Williams points out, ‘a world infused by the sense of play’. 27 The carefully devised range of sound effects was much admired: in Die Schaubu¨hne Felix Poppenberg commented that ‘the scenic orchestration of Shakespeare’s fairytale poetry’ was close to that achieved by Wagner with his orchestra in the ‘Forest Murmurs’ in Siegfried. 29 The virtuoso use of lighting in such mysterious settings was soon established as one of the director’s trademarks. Even in his more stylised revivals and the open-air versions, Reinhardt’s ultimate aim was to make the audience participants in a communal experience, if not a rite.
Shakespeare Films in the Making: Vision, Production and Reception by Russell Jackson