Monday, June 25, 2012

Richard III in Jesus of Montreal

Jesus of Montreal. Dir. Denys Arcand. Perf. Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, and Johanne-Marie Tremblay. 1989. DVD. Koch Lorber Films, 2004.

This quotation from Richard III may be more than just incidental—it certainly seems so—but I'm not familiar enough with the film to dig deeply into its significance.

But I can point out the connections between religion and theatre that the scene evokes. The film is about a theatre director who is hired to put on scenes from Christ's passion for a church pilgrimage of sorts. The unorthodox theology behind his presentation makes a number of people nervous and angry.

In the scene below, a character contemplates his own history. He presents theatre and religion as something of a dichotomy. He loved the theatre, but he felt that he had to pursue religion instead:

The rest of the film may, in part, be contemplating whether religion and theatre are irreconcilable entities. Perhaps it is even taking us back to the origins of the theatre in English—to the medieval mystery plays themselves.

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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