Saturday, February 21, 2009

Avant-Garde Meditation on The Tempest

Le Tempestaire [The Tempest]. Avant-Garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and 1930s. Dir. Jean Epstein. 1947. DVD. Kino, 2005.

In this version of The Tempest, a young woman is worried about her young man, who has gone out to sea. In her fear over the possibility of a tempest, she seeks out one of the ancient "Tempest Masters" who can prevent the storm.

It's not enormously faithful to the play, but it seems to play with the idea of the play—and with the power to control (in this case, to reverse or to prevent) storms at sea. The most visually-pleasing part is the waves running in reverse:

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.
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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