Friday, October 10, 2008

A Little Ado Before the Weekend

Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare Retold. Dir. Brian Percival. Perf. Sarah Parish, Damian Lewis, and Billie Piper. 2005. DVD. BBC, 2007.
A considerable amount of time has passed since I last wrote on the BBC's Shakespeare Retold —or, at least, since I wrote about their derivative versions of Shakespeare's plays. Their version of Much Ado About Nothing is at the very top of the tree.

Since I've been teaching King Lear—which has comic relief, but not of a very comic or a very relieving nature—I've been feeling the need for a break.

This clip is from the beginning of the BBC's production of Much Ado. And, I suppose, it doesn't exactly offer a spoiler, though it does offer an interesting take on the backstory in Shakespeare's play. It's brilliant, actually. And it has chosen its soundtrack brilliantly. Well, take a look, and I'll offer some commentary below.


Shakespeare offers a simmilar backstory to the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick, but keeps it offstage and lets us infer it from the text. The BBC decides to start with that backstory. Although it leaves a bit less to our imaginations, it is still enormously effective.
Links: The Film at IMDB.

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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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