Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bardfilm's Fair Use Policy

kj. Bardfilm: The Shakespeare and Film Microblog. Web. 1 January 2011.
I've been thinking through Bardfilm's structure, and it occurred to me that it might be wise to state Bardfilm's policy regarding video use and to explain why Bardfilm's use falls under the "fair use" doctrine of United States law as articulated in, for example, Golan v. Gonzales, 501 F.3d 1170 (2007). That ruling provides, in part, a "guarantee of breathing space within the confines of copyright."

Accordingly, Bardfilm's policy follows these strict rules:
  1. Bardfilm's purpose is educational. I hope to educate my readers by providing commentary and appropriate illustrative material.

  2. Bardfilm always provides the most complete bibliographic information possible about the material it cites. It attempts to follow the format provided by The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, seventh edition, though the nature of the material cited here means that its form must often be adapted.

  3. Bardfilm provides, wherever possible, links to places to purchase the material it cites. In this way, it serves something of a promotional purpose for the manufacturers and distributers of the material it cites.

  4. Bardfilm does not make a profit. A small percentage of sales from the links I provide to books and DVDs on does return in the form of credit; however, those funds are used in their entirety (and their entirety is admittedly quite minuscule) to purchase materials to be reviewed by Bardfilm. Although there are ads on Bardfilm's site (provided by, I haven't yet made any money from the ads. When I do, those funds will be used in their entirety to purchase materials to be reviewed by Bardfilm.

  5. Bardfilm never provides a video in its entirety. Not even "out of print" material is provided in total. This will encourage those who encounter the material to seek out the fuller version from its source.

  6. Bardfilm does not provide the highest video quality possible. This, too, will encourage readers to seek out higher quality video from its sources.
I hope that stating these policies will clarify Bardfilm's role. Bardfilm desires to help create, develop, and expand the market for Shakespeareana of every kind; it does not intend to hinder the market in any way or to prevent artists, actors, writers, and studios from profiting from their creations. Rather, it attempts to promote such profit and to encourage future creative work involving Shakespeare.

Thank you very much.

Friday, January 28, 2011

When Shakespeare had the Blues

“The World of Jazz.” By Leonard Bernstein. Perf. Alistair Cooke and Leonard Bernstein. Dir. Elliot Silverstein. Omnibus. Season 4, episode 2. CBS. 16 October 1955. DVD. Leonard Bernstein: Omnibus: The Historic TV Broadcasts. E1 Entertainment, 2010.

I saw this clip quite some time ago, but it's taken a while to confirm the details and to gather the necessary links—always both mandatory and important for a scholarly endeavor.

The clip is from the educational television series Omnibus, which was in production from 1952 to 1961—the same program that enabled Peter Book to direct Orson Welles in King Lear (for which, q.v.). In this clip, Leonard Bernstein explains a certain form of the Blues by pointing out that it consists of couplets in iambic pentameter. Not unnaturally, he then turns to Shakespeare to illustrate the point, giving us what he calls a "Macbeth Blues."

And that is quite remarkable, of course.

The line Bernstein uses is from Act V of Macbeth: "I will not be afraid of death and bane / [I said,] I will not be afraid of death and bane / Till Bernam Forest come to Dunsinane" (V.iii.59-60).

And I only wish the song continued. It would be even more remarkable if the Doctor's lines were given as a blues response to Macbeth's opening gambit: "Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, / [I said,] Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, / Profit again should hardly draw me here" (V.iii.61-62).

Or imagine a wonderful call-and-response blues with A Midsummer Night's Dream's Hermia and Helena:
HERMIA: I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
I said, I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
HELENA: O that my prayers could such affection move!

HERMIA: The more I hate, the more he follows me.
I said, the more I hate, the more he follows me.
HELENA: The more I love, the more he hateth me.

HERMIA: His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
I said, his folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
HELENA: None, but your beauty: would that fault were mine!

HERMIA: Take comfort: he no more shall see my face;
I said, take comfort: he no more shall see my face;
Lysander and myself will fly this place.

Before the time I did Lysander see,
I said, before the time I did Lysander see,
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me:

O, then, what graces in my love do dwell,
I said, O, then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell! (I.i.194-207)
Any takers? Any directors or musicians ready to take that on?

Or imagine, if you will, an entire play in musical form—a modernization of one of the great tragedies—Romeo and Juliet for example—that follows Bernstein's idea to its inevitable conclusion. Wouldn't that be something to see?

Links: The Episode at IMDB.

Click below to purchase the film from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).


Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Winter's Tale at The Guthrie:
Half-Price Tickets for Bardfilm's Readers

The Winter's Tale. Dir. Jonathan Munby. Perf. Ansa Akyea, Christina Baldwin, Raye Birk, Helen Carey, John Catron, Bob Davis, Sean Michael Dooley, Tyson Forbes, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Michael Hayden, Michael Thomas Holmes, Juan Rivera Lebron, Bill McCallum, Michelle O'Neill, Suzanne Warmanen, Christine Weber, Stephen Yoakam, Noah Coon,and Devon Solwold. Guthrie Theatre Company. Minneapolis. 29 January—27 March 2011.
In two days, the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis starts its run of The Winter's Tale, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Among the Guthrie's recent stellar productions are Macbeth (for which, q.v.), Two Gentlemen of Verona (for which, q.v.), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (for which, q.v.). Guthrie productions are always stunning, interesting, and well-acted. The vitality of the performances fills the incredible performance space. I anticipate great things for this season's Winter's Tale.

And that's one reason why I'm pleased beyond belief to extend this generous offer to Bardfilm's readers on behalf of The Guthrie Theatre:

Re-Imagine Once Upon a Time . . .
Tragedy collides with comedy in this fairy tale that balances two worlds filled with music and dance: Sicilia resembling the Kennedy-era White House, and Bohemia capturing the freedom of rural Minnesota. Suspecting his wife has committed adultery with his childhood friend and consumed with unfounded jealousy, King Leontes of Sicilia abandons her and their newborn child, turning their royal dream into a nightmare. Sixteen years later the child has grown into a free-spirited young woman in Bohemia and unknowingly falls in love with the son of her father’s friend. But a twist of fate leads to long-kept secrets revealed and the family is reunited in a homecoming like never imagined.

Visit to view a performance calendar.

Call the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, and mention “Bardfilm” to receive this offer. Not valid online, with other offers, or on previously purchased tickets. Handling fees may apply. Offer non-transferable.

Photo Credit: Guthrie Exterior by Sally Wagner.

If you're in the Twin Cities—if you're anywhere near the Twin Cities—plan to see this play! I genuinely hope that the discount tickets will help. Think of this offer as a coupon for the imagination.

Here's the calendar where you can choose the performance that best fits your schedule.

This production will be truly remarkable. I can't wait to see Antigonus exit, pursued by a bear, into rural Minnesota.
Links: The Play at the Guthrie Theater.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shakespeare in Thirty-Eight Languages

The 2012 Season. Shakespeare's Globe. Artistic dir. Dominic Dromgoole. Web. 26 January 2011.
Starting on 23 April 2012, Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London will present all thirty-eight plays in the Shakespeare canon—each in a different language, each by a different company. The season is inspired by the 2012 Summer Olympic Games (parenthetically, they are also to be held in London that year).

I am intensely interested in global Shakespeares, and this is fascinating beyond all speaking of it. The biggest question I have is "Which plays will be performed in which languages by which companies for what reasons?"

Answers to that are currently hard to find. A few alert readers forwarded me an article by the BBC about the six-week season. The article mentions Lithuanian, Spanish and Greek without any connection to particular plays, but it also provides these specific connections:

The Taming of the Shrew——Urdu
King Lear——Australian Aboriginal languages
Troilus and Cressida——Maori
The Two Gentlemen of Verona——Shona
Henry VIII——Spanish
Julius Caesar——Italian
Love’s Labour’s Lost——British Sign Language
The Tempest——Arabic
Titus Andronicus——Cantonese
[Note: I hope to add to that chart as information becomes available, so check back periodically.]

There's also an interview with Dominic Dromgoole, the Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe, on the subject—though it's not as informative as I'd hoped. Even so, Dromgoole does say this about the multi-lingual season:
The idea is very simple, which is to do the complete works but to do each play in a different language presented by a different company from abroad. [. . .] And we just want to make this about language more than anything else. It's not about directors; it's not about actors; it's not about stunning visions or anything like that. It's about the languages. It's about communities of artists taking pride in telling those stories in their own language and communities of audiences really enjoying the fact that they can take over this space and enjoy an afternoon or an evening with a story told in their own language and by . . . somewhat from their own culture. And I hope . . . I don't know what the result will be. Just shake things up a bit, I think.
The classic British understatement burrows its way into the last sentence of that quote. This will do more than "just shake things up a bit" by any measure. And it's a marvelous thought that Cantonese-speaking Chinese athletes (for example) will be able to unwind after a hard day's hammer throwing (for example) with a production of Titus Andronicus in their native tongue.

Of course, we can't help but wonder what will be gained a lost in the translation. Will the loss be as great as Lost in Translation suggests? I've taken the last few lines of the St. Crispin's Day Speech from Henry V and entered it into Lost in Translation. Here's the original:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day! (IV.iii.60-67)
And here's the same speech, once it's been translated back and forth from English to French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish:
Small, small happy, we found to the brothers. In sequence its blood with me is today the sources my brother. And the horseman in England that hopes to lodge imagines that here maledizioni he not estêve. They consider of them virilities economic, when, than it is fought with, spoken with so extreme in santo one of approximately of the day in Crispin! (IV.iii.60-67)
No. It will certainly be much more significant than that (as humorous as that is). The question of what is universal about Shakespeare will be complexly explored by these thirty-eight plays.

And if any athletes need inspiration to compete at their highest level, their coaches can just break into the most inspiring speech Shakespeare ever wrote: "Small, small happy, we found to the brothers!" (Henry V, IV.iii.60).

Links: The BBC's article. The 2012 season at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. The interview with Dominic Dromgoole. Lost in Translation.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Most Famous (or Infamous) Misquotation of Shakespeare

The Maltese Falcon. Dir. John Huston. Perf. Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Peter Lorre. 1941. DVD. Turner Home, 2009.

The last line of The Maltese Falcon is frequently cited as a misquotation of a line from Shakespeare. Sam Spade, the Humphrey Bogart character, says, "The . . . uh . . . stuff that dreams are made of."

The actual quote, spoken by Prospero in The Tempest, alters in only two respects:
. . . . . . . . . . . . We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. (IV.i.156-58)
Here's the line spoken by the inimitable Humphrey Bogart. The delivery is so marvelous that we overlook the altered preposition and the substitution of "that" for "as":

Links: The Film at IMDB.

Click below to purchase the film from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

Henry V and World of Warcraft

Schulz, Ben. "Leeroy Jenkins." World of Warcraft. Web. 19 January 2011.

I know this is a bit odder than Bardfilm's ordinary fare, but I wanted to draw our collective attention to the many and manifold uses to which the St. Crispin's Day Speech from Henry V has been put.

Here, we have a band of brothers playing the popular video game World of Warcraft. One of the members gives a particularly rousing speech, encouraging, above all others, the infamous Leeroy Jenkins to head, once more, into the breach:

Those of you who are particular fans of Henry V, World of Warcraft, and / or Leeroy Jenkins may appreciate this bonus extended-length version of the video:

And here's the text of the speech, part of which is drawn from the Battle of Harfleur earlier in the play:
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. (IV.iii.21-23, 40-43, 56-67)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry "God for Harry, England, and [Leeroy Jenkins]!" (III.i.31-34).

Links: The Original Video at YouTube.

Click below to purchase the video game from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

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