Shakespeare in Films

Select a few of Shakespeare plays that have been adapted in films and analyse them. What can film techniques bring to the plays? How does it change our relationships to characters? The story? Are there elements that can only be efficient on stage? What do actors who do both (David Tennant, Kenneth Branagh, Ian McKellen etc…) say about the difference between performing Shakespeare on stage and in front of a camera?

  • Wow, there's a lot here to talk about! I love this topic and am excited to see it. Paring this down into specifics would be easier to write about. For example, Branagh is probably the most prolific in bringing Shakespeare to film, so it might be interesting to choose just one of his film adaptations and write at length about what it brings to (or detracts from) the play. Most directors these days set Shakespeare in different time periods; how does Branagh's version of Hamlet, for example, set a tone that may be different from a displaced staged version? – Katheryn 8 years ago
  • A very interesting concept and will make a great article. There are certainly many things you propose to be discussed here. I think first of all the title should reflect that you are trying to do a comparison or discuss both Film and on stage plays. In addition, it will be beneficial to narrow down the discussion to a degree as it might result in a very long article that would not have coherency and a good flow. Compare and contrast topics are very interesting read and fun to do, but if there are too many elements, the article becomes difficult to follow. – Arazoo Ferozan 8 years ago
  • BBC's Hollow Crown trilogy would be a good adaptation to explore (even though it's a mini-series) as many of the actors in it also did stage work. The recent Macbeth (2015) film would interesting as well given how pared down it was--mostly striking visuals and score, but very little of the play's actual lines. A question, maybe, of conveying atmosphere and tone vs. faithfully sticking to the original. – Tiffany 8 years ago
  • As others have noted, there is a lot to explore/discuss here. There are numerous adaptations of Shakespeare's plays that can lend important insight to your piece - especially if you're thinking about it in a global context. How do adaptations outside of the English language come closer to or further from the original? How do certain cultural or community specific values (i.e. arranged marriages in certain cultures) impact an adaptation's depiction or love, duty, remorse, etc. Maqbool (2004) is an awesome example of some of these questions and issues. If you're thinking of expanding to a more global context that is a great place to start! – GemMarr 8 years ago
  • This is a very broad topic, maybe stick to one popular and well adapted Shakespeare play. Also keep in mind the historical context of live action plays: they were supposed to engage the audience to get involved, for example the well known fact that audiences used to throw tomatoes at actors. But the audience could also contribute real time opinions and feelings to a play, even help improvise lines. Audience participation is something film adaptations lack. I'm not sure if you have studied more modern plays, like Beckett or Susan Lori-Parks, but the trend of post modern plays is to implicate the audience and make us feel culpable. I know this might be going off track, but it would be an interesting research. Good luck! – Rayna 8 years ago

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