It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's ... See full summary »
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.
Director Al Pacino juxtaposes scenes 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Pacino originally wanted to make a straight film of the play, as opposed to a documentary, but he discovered that he would not be able to compete with Laurence Olivier's 1955 version. See more »
In discussion, Pacino and co. are studying the "*G* of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be," and decide, since it's supposed to refer to Clarence, that they'll change it to "'C" of Edward's heir's." The problem is, the prophecy very deliberately refers to Richard, Duke of GLOUCESTER and Clarence, Duke of GEORGE. With "G" the prophecy is true. If you change it to "C" the prophecy becomes false, and can no longer refer to two people. See more »
From other comments I've read on this movie, one might get the impression that the primary purpose of this documentary is to explain Shakespeare and Richard III. To me, this makes it seem like the documentary falls into the same trap Shakespeare tends to fall into in our culture, that of being medicinal; it tastes bad, but it's good for you. While the movie does give you an insight into Shakespeare and Richard III, that is not its primary value. Like the recent SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, this is a celebration of Shakespeare's art, his wordplay, and his drama, communicated to us here by Pacino, who is a big Shakespeare fan. It also shows how his plays connect with us and with our culture(as one critic said, playing Michael Corleone is a nice preparation for Richard III). The cast pulls the play off with aplomb, and the interviewees make their points without becoming dry, didactic, or condescending. But it's Pacino's show, and he shows not only his great acting talent, but why he's also a great director. And again, this invites us into a celebration of art, rather than repels us by being a lesson.
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