From Richard to Gloucester

Date: 2009
Posted by: Michael Rouse
Cast: Michael Rouse (Earl of Gloucester), Peter Rouse (King Edward IV), Jamie Crispin (man on promontory), Kate Tydman (Cecily Neville), Stuart Neal (man lost in woods)
Credits: A Tambrisk Pictures production. Directed by Michael Rouse, produced by Brenda Jane Newhouse, photography by Stuart Neal, sound by Kate Tydman, edited by Michael Rouse and Kate Tydman, music by Bret Vanderburg
Duration: 5.34

A visually striking and frenetically directed interpretation of Gloucester’s speech from Henry VI iii, ‘Ay, Edward will use women honourably’. The approach taken is to visualise the words as much as possible, rewriting Shakespeare’s poetry as images. This is a tempting strategy to follow, though not always a wise one. Words conjure up images quite well by themeselves, and it adds no value to show someone caught in a thorny wood when a line says ‘… like one lost in a thorny wood’. For all that, this is a deeply felt piece of expression, with much care having gone into locations, angles, lighting, the editing dynamic and the treatment of the image. The result, like the verse, gives a vivid impression of a mind both disordered and clear-sighted, a murderer’s self-justification. A strong central performance (the video cuts back and forth from Gloucester’s soliloquizing to the images in his mind) adds to the compelling effect as it rises to a crescendo. All in all, an effective peek into the mind of someone that one would rather have not peeked into at all.

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