King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »
When the Duke of Vienna takes a mysterious leave of absence and leaves the strict Angelo in charge, things couldn't be worse for Claudio, who is sentenced to death for premarital sex. His ... See full summary »
The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.
A rich merchant, Antonio is depressed for no good reason, until his good friend Bassanio comes to tell him how he's in love with Portia. Portia's father has died and left a very strange ... See full summary »
Iago and a comrade-in-arms are outside the Venice home of Desdemona's father, who does not yet know that she has eloped with Othello. Iago confides to his friend -- who had hoped to marry Desdemona -- that he serves Othello to further his own ends. Venice needs Othello to protect its commercial interests in Cyprus where the Turkish fleet is headed. Desdemona insists on going to Cyprus, too. In Cyprus, Iago plots to convince Othello that Desdemona has betrayed him with Cassio. A lot more than political ambition seems to be motivating Iago. Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For the scene where Iago asks Cassio about Bianca, Othello stands behind the open door. Most of the scene is shot from behind him, so the audience sees what he sees. However, not all the dialogue between Iago and Cassio is audible. Although this led to criticism when the episode was screened in the US, where it was assumed that the sound people simply had not done their job very well, it was actually done so as to increase subjectivity; if Othello is having difficulty hearing what they are saying, so too is the audience. See more »
Shortly before stabbing himself Othello bounces the blade of the dagger on the bed and we both hear and see the blade retract. See more »
I saw this together with "Ayurveda," because that film had much of the same notion I expected to see here.
Making an interesting film is a challenge because of the constraints of the medium and the way we corral narratives into genre.
Making a film of Shakespeare is a greater challenge. You cannot deviate too much from the stage conventions that 19th century performers imposed on the plays. The producers would lose their core audience: high school teachers.
This play is particularly challenging because it hits a weak spot in film today: the tension between what actors and directors think is essential in the play (and life). Of all the plays, this one presents the greatest opportunity for the actors to hijack the enterprise at the cost of the valuable sense of the thing.
It's ironic because the main motion in the play's structure is just this idea of how the order of the environment fights the action of willful individuals within.
I think the writer at this stage in his life worked from the outside in, focusing on the forces that are unloosed in the world, then forming images and analogies that finally can map to some story he finds. So far as we know, he never made up his stories, instead appropriated existing ones, bending them to fit his needs. So though schoolkids assiduously write about the "themes" of this, it is instead rooted in something more abstract and powerful.
A good actor, a smart one, will know this and work hard with the director to create not a character but a world that buffets a character. A good actor-director like Welles will have devised some cinematic devices to make this work. Welles used cinematic architecture by this I mean physical walls and spaces in what still seems to be the highest achievement of that approach.
A bad actor, and actor that ONLY knows acting, will jump on these lines and think they have to do with defining a man and his urges. He will ignore how those urges and the complementary ones of those around him, are pulled from afar, deep in celestial machine. He will ignore the very notion of tragedy, the inevitability of the end because of the world, not the man.
Hopkins is a bad actor. The BBC is spineless in its decisions. This is worthless, unless while you are bored you think about the forces in the world that tragically drive this to be the corpse it is.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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