Sunday, November 16, 2008

Animated As You LIke It

As You Like It. Dir. Alexei Karaev. Perf. Sylvestra Le Touzel. Shakespeare: The Animated Tales. 1994. DVD. Ambrose Video, 2004.

As a break between an exam and a deeper consideration of the play, I showed my students the twenty-five minute animated version of As You Like It, and they were thrilled. They were thrilled not only at the break from discussion; they also got a kick out of the humor of the animated version. It is a lovely piece, and it does cover the basic plot (which can be confusing), freeing up class time for other, deeper (I hope) matters.

The best part of it is the way it deals with the "All the world's a stage" speech. It's marvelously inventive, taking images like the famous sketch of the Swan Theatre and the feel of Renaissance Woodcuts to show the seven ages of man. And, when Jaques finishes (after some marvelous memento mori iconography), we come back to the Forest of Arden—and no one's listening to him at all. Whatever he's said, they are still going to enjoy themselves completely!

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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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