Monday, September 8, 2008

Where King Lear Began, Filmwise

King Lear. Silent Shakespeare. Dir. Gerolamo Lo Savio. Perf. Ermete Novelli and Francesca Bertini. 1911. DVD. Image Entertainment, 2000.
Here's a small segment from a fourteen-minute silent version of King Lear from 1911. Even with fourteen minutes at his disposal, Lo Savio needs to depend on extensive, lengthy title cards to get the plot across. Though you have to admit that the opening title card does a good job of summarizing the opening scene.

I tried forgetting everything I knew about the play before watching the film, just to see if it still made sense. But I just wasn't able to separate what I know of the plot of the play from the experience of watching the film.

But the film is quite enjoyable! I love the colorization, especially considering that they had to paint each frame of the entire film by hand to get that effect. A stunning amount of work is therefore embodied in the short clip below.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this clip is temporarily (or permanently) unavailable.

Thank you for your understanding.

—The Management


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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

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