Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Get Over It (Part One)

Get over it. Dir. Tommy O’Haver. Perf. Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Melissa Sagemiller, and Sisqó. 2001. DVD. Miramax, 2001.

Get Over It does not use Shakespeare brilliantly, but it has some wonderful moments. The high school drama teacher / director is played to absolute perfection by Martin Short, for example.

The film fits Kenneth S. Rothwell's "Mirror Movie" devision of Shakespeare Derivatives. The students at the high school are putting on A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the plot of the play and the plots of their lives intersect and interact in interesting ways.

I'm intrigued by the "dream sequence" devices this section of the film uses. The cover of the play becomes the setting of a daydream version of dream. It does degenerate (be warned—"the stale of horses," as Octavius puts it (Anthony and Cleopatra I.iv.62) will make an appearance) into slapstick, but the world of the cover is interestingly maintained.

I have to note that, despite Demetrius' claim, there is swordfighting in the play. Well, to be fair, there is threatened swordfighting in III.ii when Demetrius and Lysander pursue each other through the wood with swords drawn.

I should also note that the film has a fair amount of obscene language (edited out in the clip above). Bardfilm recommends previewing before showing clips to your classes.

Bonus Clip: Desmond Forrest-Oates is the One-Man Hamlet.

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 Tempest