Shakespeare, The Passionate Pilgrim

Date: 2015
Posted by: Hassan Jamal
Cast: Guy Killum
Credits: Homewood & Frankstown TV. Director/camera: Hassan; camera upload: Dr. D
Duration: 2.44

Hassan Jamal is a Los Angeles-based poet and playwright, who is the mind behind the L.A. Subway Shakespeare Project. This is a series of black-and-white videos featuring African-American performers and shot at metro stops around the city. The ‘Street Shakespeare’ genre of performances given in the raw on (usually) American streets is one of the most effective forms on online Shakespeare, and this series is no exception.

In this example, actor and double bass player Guy Killum takes a break from playing outside the World Stage Performance Gallery at Leimert Park. He leans knowingly toward the camera and gives us vivid renditions of Sonnets 138 (“When my love swears that she is made of truth”) and 144 (“Two loves I have, of comfort and despair”), in the versions as collected in the 1599 anthology The Passionate Pilgrim, before finishing off with some more bass lines.

Although the background noise is a distraction (albeit an integral part of street Shakespeare, effectively a necessary hazard), this is a first-rate video, with just the right degree of knowing address to the camera, sharing thoughts with the passer-by in the form of pointed poetry. A cooler Shakespeare performance you would hard-pressed to find.

Other videos in the series are The Merchant of Venice, Othello, another Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Winter’s Tale, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, King John and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Check them all out – they are smartly filmed and expertly performed. Some will be appearing on BardBox in due course.

YouTube page

macbeth ➳ he shall never vanquish’d be

Date: 2015
Posted by: lana cho
Cast: Matt Budoff (Macbeth), Carla Carvallo (Witch 2), Lano Cho (Hecate + Apparition 2), Guy Gideoni (Lennox + Banquo’s Ghost), Siddhant Jain (Apparition 3), Emily Kravnak (Apparition 1), Serena Lantz (Witch 1), Chloe Lee (Witch 3)
Credits: Production company: The Very Large Acting Co. Editor: Lana Cho; make-up artists: Aditi Bhatt, Danielle Mullins; cinematography: Siddhant Jain; coloring: kindon18; composer: Michael Suby (Vampire Diaries score)
Duration: 6.33

Here is Macbeth from the Twilight generation. A group of young Americans re-enact Macbeth meeting the witches and seeing the apparitions (from Act 4 Scene 1) in a ferny wood, with the help of dark make-up, drained colouring effects (highlighting the red of Macbeth’s kilt), distorted voices, a widescreen image and a heavy overlaying of the music from The Vampire Diaries. Though the acting tends towards the wooden, good use of made of the setting and the opportunity for different camera angles. Chiefly it brings out the modern Gothic in Shakespeare and shows how the plays survive because they can be re-imagined to the temper of the times.

YouTube page

Shakespeare’s The Tempest Animation

Shakespeare’s The Tempest Animation from matthewkilford on Vimeo.

Date: 2013
Posted by: matthewkilford
Cast: Year 6 pupils from Bloxham Primary School
Credits: Made by Bloxham Primary School; Animation Station: Matt Kilford, Emily Horler. Special thanks to Mrs Verinder, Mrs Way, Mrs Coles, Mrs Ralls, Mr Ingall
Duration: 10.28

This is an absolutely charming animated version of The Tempest made by Year 6 pupils ( ages 10-11) of Bloxham Primary School, Oxfordshire, with help from local arts organisation Animation Station. It tells the essential story, with snatches of the most familiar lines, using children’s drawings animated in a rudimentary but entirely effective manner. What gives the film its power is the use of the children’s voices to tell the story and voice the characters. They tell the story with enthusiasm and conviction. While with some schoolchildren’s online Shakespeare you sense the eagerness of the teacher but wonder about the pupils’ comprehension of what they are being asked to do, here it is clear that they were fully engaged in both play and project. It is a film to persuade anyone, of any age, of the play’s magical qualities. The applause at the end is a delightful idea, and entirely merited.

Vimeo page
Animation Station