Filming Shakespeare's Plays

Filming Shakespeare's Plays : The Adaptations of Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Peter Brook and Akira Kurosawa

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Shakespeare's plays provide wonderfully challenging material for the film maker. While acknowledging that dramatic experiences for theatre and cinema audiences are significantly different, this book reveals some of the special qualities of cinema's dramatic language in the film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays by four directors - Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Peter Brook and Akira Kurosawa - each of whom has a distinctly different approach to a film representation. Davies begins his study with a comparison of theatrical and cinematic space showing that the dramatic resources of cinema are essentially spatial. The central chapters focus on Laurence Olivier's Henry V, Hamlet and Richard III; Orson Welles' Macbeth, Othello and Chimes at Midnight; Peter Brook's King Lear and Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood. Davies discusses the dramatic problems posed by the source plays for these films for the film maker and he examines how these films influenced later theatrical stagings. He concludes with an examination of the demands that distinguish the work of the Shakespearean stage actor from that of his counterpart in more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139238019
  • 9781139238014

Table of contents

List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Theatrical and cinematic space; 2. Laurence Olivier's Henry V; 3. Laurence Olivier's Hamlet; 4. Laurence Olivier's Richard III; 5. Orson Welles's Macbeth; 6. Orson Welles's Othello; 7. Orson Welles's Chimes at Midnight; 8. Peter Brook's King Lear and Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood; 9. The film actor; Conclusion; Notes; Select filmography; Bibliography; more

Review quote

'It would surely be unlikely for anyone to be well informed on both Shakespeare and the screen, yet here, and urgently welcome, is Anthony Davies ... Anyone who has attempted to analyse a film for writing purposes from memory or notes must pay tribute to the observation displayed in this book.' The Times Higher Education Supplementshow more