Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shakespeare on The News Hour

The Best of MacNeil / Lehrer: Shakespeare on the News Hour. DVD. MacNeil / Lehrer Productions, 2007.
The connections between Shakespeare and The MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour are not limited to Robert MacNeil's terrific appearance in the Almereyda Hamlet (for which, q.v.). A DVD containing six stories The News Hour did on Shakespeare-related subjects was released in 2007:
  1. "The Heart of My Mystery" (15 January 1996), in which scholars are interviewed on the then-newly-discovered (and since fairly-conclusively debunked) "Funeral Elegy by W. S.," thought at the time, through the miracle of computer analysis, to be by Shakespeare.

  2. "Much Ado" (23 January 1997), in which Charlton Heston, Michael Kahn, and David Kastan are interviewed about the revival of interest in Shakespeare—particularly on film—brought about by the Kenneth Branagh Hamlet.

  3. "The Play's the Thing" (21 June 2001), in which the Denver Public School System's Spring Shakespeare Festival is profiled.

  4. "Brushing Up Their Shakespeare" (26 September 2002), in which The Academy for Classical Acting's approach to teaching how to play Shakespeare is examined.

  5. "An American Falstaff: Kevin Kline" (7 January 2004), in which Kevin Kline is interviewed on that role

  6. "Re-Learning Shakespeare" (27 December 2005), in which Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is covered—Mark Rylance is interviewed.
Of these, the most interesting are the interviews with the actors. Here's a clip from Charlton Heston's interview (he makes the case for Shakespeare and Film):


Kline's interview is more significant for the clips it provides of his Falstaff than for his commentary (though his commentary is not to be scorned at all). Here he is, as plump Jack:


All in all, the stories are fascinating, and I'm indebted to my library for buying them for all its patrons to share!
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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 Tempest