Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
What type of film adaptations ensure that William Shakespeare's works will continue to resonate with future film viewers?
Analyze the different types of film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. Which type will ensure that audiences will continue to connect with his plays, written 400 years ago? Some films like Olivier’s portrayal of Hamlet are essentially filmed plays. Others, such as last year’s Macbeth (with Michael Fassbinder) are dramatized faithful renditions while 1996’s Romeo and Juliet (by Baz Luhrmann) modernizes the setting and employs popular young ‘movie stars’ (Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes).
I think that the author raises some legitimate issues but fail to make two crucial points. Diegetic sound, the source of which is known to the film’s characters, is employed to authenticate a film’s time, place, and genre. We know from the compilation score of southern rock that Linklater uses in Dazed and Confused that it is set in the 70s in small town America and that it is film about teen culture. Non-diegetic sound is mostly used to create mood and atmosphere as when music swells at times of great excitement or plays lightly in the background of a romantic rendezvous.
The problem with Hail Caesar! is best summed up as, ‘not funny’. The Coens are at their best when they deal within the darkness of life (Blood Simple, No Country For Old Men, A Serious Man). When they try to go for the easy laughs as in Hail Caesar! it just doesn’t work. I think it was DeMille who said if you want to send a message call Western Union, otherwise stick to doing something that will entertain. Many directors have subverted this notion and successfully ‘sent a message’ and entertained but the Coens missed it it with Hail Caesar!
Love and Mercy is a wonderful example that focuses on not an individual’s lifetime but the significant events of that lifetime and does so without devolving into sentimentality. Further examples of strong biopics might be Experimenter (based on Stanley Milgram) and The Social Network (based on Mark Zuckerberg).
There is no mention of the main function of diegetic sound in this article. It is employed to establish a sense of realism. We hear the sound the raptors make and accept their existence as real. Non-diegetic sound, third person narration or music, establishes an objective point of view as in One Week or a particular atmosphere.