The Tempest – The Missing Scene

Date: 2015
Posted by: Noor Ghuniem
Cast: Maryam (Sycorax, The Lucifers), Maryam’s brother (Caliban, Sycorax’s Dad), Friend (Sycorax’s Mom), Friend (Ariel)
Credits: Noor, Maryam, Alexis (writer and directors), Noor (video editor), Alexis (cameraperson),
Duration: 9.00

So, who wants to know Caliban’s back story? Certainly Shakespeare doesn’t give us much to go on. All we know is that his mother Sycorax was a witch, came from Algiers, arrived on the island pregnant with Caliban, and died before the action of The Tempest begins. Now here’s a video to fill in this lamentable gap left by the bard.

Hearts may sink to see that this is another sock puppet video, but stay with it because it’s actually rather good. It’s a school project (age of the students unclear), and they have gone to a considerable amount of trouble to imagine a sustained and plausible prequel to The Tempest, explaining what made Sycorax so bitter and how she ended up on the island. There’s a substantial amount of pseudo-Shakespearean dialogue which hopefully got them good marks for effort. It’s a genuinely creative piece of imagination, conducted as best they could with the tools at their command. It ends with Sycorax’s death and Caliban taking over the island, leaving us still with the question of her influence on him, but for the rest of the story you’ll just have to watch – and hopefully applaud.

Links: YouTube page

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Macbeth: The Witches

Date: 2013 (filmed in 2011)
Posted by: Amy L.
Cast: Not given
Credits: Not given
Duration: 4.15

This is rather fine. Three young American women perform the three witches’ main scene from Macbeth in some backwoods area by a lake. The setting, with its stark remainders of sacrifice (a skull, a stretched bearskin, the cauldron) and particularly a startling opening sequence of speeded-up travel through the wooded waters, suggest the strong influence of modern horror films. That it all takes place in bright daylight only accentuates this, and contrasts interestingly with the gloom though usual for settings of Macbeth. The appearance of the witches themselves take us back to amateur reality, but the more than enough care is taken over variety of shots to keep up the interest (including an ambitious overhead shot and overlaid images as the tension builds up). It is unclear, though, whether the shifts in light are an artistic choice or simply a reflection of the fact that it took all day to film the sequence. Whatever the background, the result is disorienting and quite effective.

Modest, but memorable.

Links: YouTube page