Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An In-Depth Exploration of Richard III, Act I, Scene ii

Looking for Anne. Dir. Gérard Dallez. 2005. DVD. Equipe de Recherche sur les Aires Culturelles, 2005.
Included in the volume Shakespeare on Screen: Richard III (ed. Sarah Hatchuel and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin, Ruon: Publications de l’Université de Rouen, 2005) is a short film entitled Looking for Anne. When I requested the book through my stalwart Inter-Library Loan connections, I was under the assumption that it was a complete film that told the plot of Shakespeare's Richard III from Lady Anne's point of view. Even though that turned out not to be the case—causing some inevitable collateral disappointment—the film itself provides a good deal of commentary on and discussion of Act I, scene ii of the play: The scene in which Lady Anne accepts Richards proposal of marriage.

There's considerable discussion—in French (with English subtitles)—about the scene, and one participant seems to have a cockatoo on her shoulder for no readily-apparant reason. And then comes the fun part. The actors attempt to put all they've been discussing into the scene itself.

The discussion here typifies the threefold conversation that frequently happens in my classroom about this scene:
  1. Why does Anne accept Richard?

  2. Why doesn't Anne kill Richard?

  3. How is it possible to enact whatever conclusions we reach about those two questions?
Here's a brief clip to give you a taste of the film, which is something like a discussion, something like a documentary, and something like an actor's workshop:


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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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