Friday, May 29, 2020

Hamlet in Taxi

“Bobby's Acting Career.” By Ed Weinberger and Stan Daniels. Perf. Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, and John Lehne. Dir. James Burrows. Taxi. Season 1, episode 4. ABC. 5 April 1978. DVD. Paramount, 2014.

During a pandemic, you sometimes find yourself watching really old sitcoms.

And sometimes you find some Shakespeare in the mix.

In Taxi, we meet a host of taxi drivers who are nearly all underrated by their customers and their manager. In this episode, taxi driver Alex Reiger picks up a Great Dane (and its owner) and gets a chance to show off his knowledge of Hamlet. Later, the owner of the dog treats the dog very harshly, leading Alex to drop the fare and keep the dog. I won't show you that part, but here's the part where the Hamlet comes in:

Links: The Episode at IMDB.

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Othello: A Derivative of Othello that Focuses Intently on Race

Othello. Dir. Geoffrey Sax. Perf. Keeley Hawes, Eamonn Walker, and Christopher Eccleston. 2001. DVD. Acorn Media, 2002.

[Note: I wrote this before the death of George Floyd made this an unfortunately extremely pertinent issue to the Twin Cities, to the United States, and to the world at large. I sometimes wish Shakespeare could be less relevant.]

I usually vary the offerings in my Shakespeare and Film course from year to year. Some films are always there, but I move the plays we cover and the films of the plays we cover. For the past two years, I've had Othello in the course.

Some Othellos concentrate on race; others ignore the issue. Geoffrey Sax's derivative version places it at the forefront, exploring racial divides between the police and the people they are meant to serve.

Here's the opening of the film. Doctor Who fans will recognize our Iago analogue pretty quickly.

Links: The Film at IMDB.

Click here to purchase the film from
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