Sunday, March 16, 2008

Homage or Plagiarism?

Kiss me, Kate. Dir. Chris Hunt. Perf. Brent Barrett and Rachel York. 1999. DVD. Image Entertainment, 2003.
The 1953 Kiss me, Kate cuts the number “I am Ashamed that Women are so Simple.” The 2003 release of the 1999 London stage revival leaves it in. Immediately afterwards, Katherine / Lilli gives this enormous wink—one reminiscent of the wink in the Sam Taylor Taming of the Shrew (for which, q.v.). It has to be enormous so that the people in the back row will be able to see it—it’s primarily a stage production, after all.

Does that wink count as indebtedness, homage, an allusion, or down-and-out plagiarism?

I ask because it happens frequently in film—and, perhaps, particularly frequently in Shakespeare-related film.

Next time, homage in Much Ado About Nothing.

No comments:

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.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

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