Thursday, October 31, 2013

SoxSpeare: A Sonnet on the World Series Victory of the Red Sox in 2013

Jones, Keith. "A Sonnet on the World Series Victory of the Red Sox in 2013." 31 October 2013.

The wager was made (for which, q.v.).

And now it's time to pay up.

I am very sad that the Cardinals did not win the World Series this year, but I must genuinely and sincerely acknowledge the true majesty of the Red Sox. They played astonishingly well.

At the end of the regular season, both teams were at the top of their divisions, tied with each other for the best win / loss percentage in baseball:  .599.  They were well-matched, and the World Series was filled with thrilling plays.

To honor my bet with Shakespeare Geek, I have written a sonnet in praise of the Red Sox.  Enjoy.

A Sonnet on the World Series Victory of the Red Sox in 2013

Wear red upon your feet with hoops of steel.
Eat beans and cod and things Bostonians like.
Beware the vast green monster in left field.
It mocks the very balls that do it strike.
The Cardinals cannot say you taunt or tease—
We cannot blame the outcome on a curse.
We fear the beard and batting of Ortiz.
Of two teams meeting, one must be the worse.
Two teams, alike in dignity, did meet;
The Red Sox are the better team this fall.
Impediments did not impede your feet:
Your fielding, hitting, running stunned us all.
I must reply, to all repeated queries,
“The mighty Red Sox won this year’s World Series.”

Note: This sonnet made its way into a news story by KSDK reporter Anne Allred about bets that St. Louisans have had to settle since the end of the World Series:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Silent King John Film

King John. Dir. Michael Merriam. Perf. John Glosser, Carolyn Bishop, Hugo Martin, Gabriel Kalomas, Tyler Heathman, and James Younis. 2013. Vimeo.

Shakespeare and Film aficionados often nerdily quiz people on what the very first Shakespeare film was. The answer is King John (for which, q.v.). And the qualifiers are (1) that it's just the deathbed scene, and (2) that it's about seventy-six seconds long.

That's one reason I was really fascinated to hear from Michael Merriam, the director of a new silent film version of King John—or, to be more specific, of its first scene. Aesthetically, it's enormously pleasing. And as a nostalgic connection to the first King John film ever made, it's peerless. Observe and enjoy:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed (R.I.P.) Performs the Dagger Speech from Macbeth

Reed, Lou. "The Dagger Speech." Macbeth. Unknown origin. Unknown date.

I enjoy collecting versions of the Dagger Speech from Macbeth. That speech alone can reveal a great deal about the direction the rest of the production is pursuing (cf., for example, this post, one of a series addressing various dagger speeches).

I also enjoy The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed's foundational, inspirational Rock 'n' Roll band. Saddened to learn of his death yesterday, I mentioned it to Shakespeare Geek, who often knows odd celebrity Shakespeare connections.  He nearly instantly pointed me to this clip of Lou Reed reciting the Dagger Speech:

Flabbergasted is not too strong a term to describe how I felt on seeing that. I wanted to share it right away—even though the scholarly side wanted to wait until I knew more about where it came from. I'll try to track that information down; in the meantime, Candy Says that Stephanie Says that Lisa Says that Sweet Jane (Who Loves the Sun), Found a Reason that Lou Reed (and Sister Ray) are Beginning to See the Light—After Hours.  And That's the Story of my Life.  R.I.P., Lou Reed.

Note: Here's a second video file in case the file above vanishes:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Friday's Film Night at the MacLaurin Institute: Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing. Dir. Joss Whedon. Perf. Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese, Sean Maher, Spencer Treat Clark, Riki Lindhome, Ashley Johnson, Emma Bates, and Tom Lenk. 2012. DVD. Lions Gate, 2013.

At 7:00 p.m. this Friday, October 25, 2013, the MacLaurin Institute will be screening Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. Following the screening, I'll be leading a discussion on the film.

Come if you can. The film is redolent of a great deal of fruitful discussion (even if, as in the scene below, the acting is a bit uneven). For example, why did the director chose to place the first "war of wits" between Beatrice and Benedick in an inner courtyard with no one else observing their exchange?

I genuinely hope to see you there!

Links: The Film at IMDB.  More Information about the Screening.

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


Monday, October 21, 2013

A Shakespearean Wager on the Globe . . . I mean World . . . Series

Author: To Be Determined. Title: To Be Determined. Date: 24 October 2013 at the earliest; 31 October 2013 at the latest.  

Update: The Wager is Paid Off.

Careful readers of Bardfilm will already know that its author is fanatical about The St. Louis Baseball Cardinals (cf., for example, this post comparing Merchant of Venice and the 2011 World Series).

Careful readers of Shakespeare Geek will know that its author hails from Boston and is rabidly in favor of the Red Sox.

And that brings us to the current wager between the two blogs. In the interest of making the Series just a little bit more interesting, we've agreed to the following: The supporter of the losing team will have to write an original sonnet in praise of the winner's team and post it on his blog.

I'm not searching particularly hard for words that rhyme with "beans," "wicked good," or "fake beard," but I'm eager to supply rhymes for "Yaddi," "Wacha," and "Arch."  When you're ready for them, Shakespeare Geek, just ask!

Bonus Material:  The First Stanza of a Sonnet Combining the Glories of the Two Teams.
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the Sox.
The Cards wear red that makes her lip’s red thin.
If Sox be red, why then her socks are chalk.
If beards be wires, black wires grow on her chin.
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