Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Regan to Chill the Bone

King Lear. Dir. Michael Elliott. Perf. Laurence Olivier, Colin Blakely, John Hurt, Diana Rigg, and Leo McKern. 1983. DVD. Kultur Video, 2000.

One of the many, many-and-manifold reasons the Olivier Lear is so astounding is Diana Rigg. She can give a single look that embodies violence, death, and destruction. And she can do it right after a look that expresses the deepest empathy.

The clip below is from the end of Act III. That point in the play gives us one of the many, many-and-manifold decisions that a director must make that can change the timbre of the entire play. In blinding Gloucester, Cornwall has been injured; he asks Regan to help him. Take a look at how this Regan helps her husband:

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.
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