Friday, October 3, 2008

Hamlet: The Drama of Vengeance

Hamlet: The Drama of Vengeance [Hamlet: Ein Rachedrama]. Dir. Svend Gade. Perf. Asta Neilsen. 1920. Videocassette. Sunland Video, n.d.
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. "Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K 622:  II:  Adagio."  Perf. Berlin Philharmonic.  Cond. Herbert von Karajan.  Woodwind Concertos for Clarinet, Oboe, and Basoon. Rec. 1972.  EMI, 1987.

The final version of the video clip of the end of the 1920 silent German Hamlet is now available:

Thanks to Mozart and the Berlin Philharmonic for the score for this clip.  Wallace and Gromit fans may recognize the music from the "Gromit Departs" scene in The Wrong Trousers.

Some points of interest in this clip include Horatio's discovery of Hamlet's gender (notice how Hamlet conspicuously attempts to keep his (her, actually!) shirt attached, even though Horatio is attempting to loosen it to provide Hamlet with air; Fortinbras' entrance and his declaration (in all honesty?  in political manipulation?) that he was about to help Hamlet to the throne; and the bleak presentation of the dead Hamlet—her face is grim, her teeth are clamped together, and her eyes are deeply set in dark grey shadows.

More commentary may follow; for now, this is

Links: The Film at IMDB. N.B.: IMDB lists the date as 1921, but all the scholarly sources I checked—Rothwell, Sammons, et cetera—list 1920 as the date.

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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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