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Director Al Pacino juxtaposes scene's from Richard III, scenes of rehearsals for Richard III, and sessions where parties involved discuss the play, the times that shaped the play and the events that happened at the time the play is set. Interviews with mostly British actors are also included, attempting to explain why American actors have more problems performing Shakespearean plays than they do. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
The film was shot over four years during and around Al Pacino's filming schedule, also while he was not working on any major film projects. This is visible during the film because he is seen growing a beard and hair cut for the film Carlito's Way (1993) as one example. See more »
To me, "Looking for Richard" is about one man's love of Shakespearean plays. This film is his vehicle to share that admiration with as many people as possible. I'm glad Mr. Pacino made this film, because he is so well-respected by such a wide variety of people, that his presence will draw them first to this film and then hopefully to the theatre.
I found the film extremely interesting. If you're at all interested in theatre, you'll enjoy watching the cast debate during rehearsals. It gave me a greater insight into what's involved in actually putting on a play. Usually, you just see the finished product, and they make it look so easy. I was relieved to learn from the film that the actors and directors struggle with the text of the plays too. So you don't have to feel bad if you don't understand all the dialogue - you will get the gist of it. The film is simply urging people to give Shakespeare another chance. You might like it, or you might not, but at least you'll have given it a shot. And if you do like it, it'll keep you busy for years.
Since most people are initially exposed to Shakespeare in high school, I imagine that's where their phobia originates. I had an English teacher who was passionate about Shakespeare, and he instilled that appreciation in me. Unfortunately, everyone isn't as lucky. Boring classes turned them off, and that's all they'll ever experience of Shakespeare. They are missing so much. I hope all the English teachers out there who are less than comfortable with teaching Shakespeare will show this film to their classes to counteract any Shakespeare phobia-inducing incidents.
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