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[DVD Review] Discovering Hamlet

10 March 2011 6:00 AM, PST | | See recent JustPressPlay news »

In Discovering Hamlet, viewers get a look behind the scenes at the Renaissance Theatre Company's 1988 production of Hamlet. Their staging of Hamlet was a truly remarkable moment in modern theater history. Derek Jacobi was considered to be the premiere Hamlet of his generation, and he is directing a young Kenneth Branagh in the lead role. Together, Jacobi and Branagh struggle to find their unique interpretation of the work, and the company moves quickly through blocking, rehearsals, and technical run-throughs. Did I mention the film is narrated by Patrick Stewart? Oh yes, Jean-Luc Picard himself walks us through the ins and outs of this incredible production.

There is a lot for theater enthusiasts to love about Discovering Hamlet. First, they get the chance to see the creative process of two acclaimed Shakespearean actors. Now, Branagh is an Oscar-nominated thespian and director, but back then, he was just an up-and-coming young »

- Rachel Kolb

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DVD Review - Discovering Hamlet

19 January 2011 12:00 PM, PST | | See recent news »

It's always quite interesting to see television meet Shakespeare. Last year, Acorn Media gave us a brilliant meeting of the two in the Blu-ray release of the Canadian series Slings & Arrows, an utterly brilliant dark comedy that followed a dysfunctional theater troupe as it attempted to put on adaptations of Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear. Now, this year, Acorn Media's documentary imprint Athena will be putting out more Shakespeare, this time in the form of a documentary titled Discovering Hamlet.

Shakespeare isn't the only connection this release has to previous Acorn titles. The director of the play it focuses on is Derek Jacobi, who played the titular character in Acorn's November release Cadfael. Also recognizable is a pre-Harry Potter Kenneth Branagh, who stars in the production as eponymous prince of Denmark.

The documentary was filmed in 1988, and if it wasn't for the recognizable faces, you wouldn't be able to tell. »

- Sam McPherson

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2011 | 2010

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