Friday, April 11, 2008

"Speak the speech, I pray you . . .

. . . trippingly on the tongue. And replace the artistic director.”

I’ve been mentioning some obscure derivitives, some of which haven’t yet been released. I thought I’d switch gears and mention a fabulous Shakespeare-related series that's out and readily-available:

Slings and Arrows.

The three-season Canadian television show follows the actors, directors, and staff of a Shakespeare festival as they go through three seasons.

In the first season—in the first show, even—the artistic director dies (that’s him in the coffin above) and is replaced by a new director—one who previously went insane while playing Hamlet under the previous director.

Follow that?

Anyway, the ghost of the first director (or is it a hallucination of the second director's imagining?) comes back to haunt (or is it to advise?) the second director.

Trust me, it’s great. It’s a little heavier on the heavy language than one likes for general audience viewing, but it’s full of marvelous lines, including this one from the ghost:

“Death virtually eliminates the need for pretense. There’s no one to impress.”

That from one of the most pretensious ghosts you’ll ever meet!

Slings and Arrows. Dir. Peter Wellington. Perf. Martha Burns, Paul Gross, Don McKellar, Mark McKinney, Oliver Dennis, Susan Coyne, Stephen Ouimette, and Catherine Fitch. 2003-2006 (Three Seasons). DVD. Acorn Media, 2006-2007.

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

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