Friday, February 6, 2009

New Tempest and New Lear on the Horizon

Tempest. Dir. Julie Taymor. Perf. Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou, Felicity Jones, and Ben Whishaw. Chartoff Productions, 2009.
No one tells me anything! It's only recently come to my attention that Julie Taymor is directing a film version of The Tempest and Al Pacino and Michael Radford are planning to do King Lear.

Julie Taymor's Tempest, as one would expect from the director of Titus and Across the Universe, is visually intriguing. Also, Helen Mirren plays Prospera (no, that's not a typo: the female Prospero will go by Prospera in this film). And that's bound to be exciting!

Pacino's Lear, which I learned about from ShakespeareGeek, is also interesting. It will be directed by Michael Radford, who directed Pacino in his recent Merchant of Venice. According to the article in Variety, " "Radford, who wrote the script, is making his second Shakespearean foray with Pacino." Wrote the script? Really? Not "adapted the play" or "composed the screenplay"?

In any case, my view is that the more Shakespeare films we have, the more we can think and talk about Shakespeare. I imagine Taymor's will be brilliant and Radford / Pacino's will muddle through. But I'm prepared to be surprised on both counts.

Links: Taymor's Tempest at IMDB.

1 comment:

Alex Bledsoe said...

Pacino seems too energetic and youthful for Lear, even though he's technically the right age. But he brought Lear-ish-ness to Michael Corleone in "Godfather III," so like you I'm willing to be surprised.

Taymor's "Tempest" sounds far more intriguing, though.

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).

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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.

—The Tempest