Many of the videos previously included on BardBox have since been taken down by their owners, or moved to private access only. This page documents all those videos that are sadly no longer available to view, with links (now dead) and my original comments.
My Dinner with André the Giant
Posted by: Alex Itin
Credits: Created by Alex Itin
American painter and experimental filmmaker Alex Itin is a member of The Future of the Book, “a small think-and-do tank investigating the evolution of intellectual discourse as it shifts from printed pages to networked screens”. With his starting point the celebrated Wallace Shawn play (and Louis Malle film) My Dinner with André (1981), in which two men debate a wide range of cultural themes over a meal, Itin creates a sampled video by associations. He describes his film thus:
The video is my play on Wallace Shawn and Shakespeare along the way to Orson Welles doing Lear and Mobydick… The drawing of what seems to be Italy with Chinese is from Imagination in The Library. I think he hails from China. The kicked by Sexy Italian Boot Sicily is from my brush wiping page next to the moby ink pot. It’s random, but I thought sort of pretty. It is from the pages of an old book on chess strategy. The Chinese say, “Life is Chess (war); Living is strategy and tactics”.
Also buried within lies the witch from Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (based on Macbeth), alongside Brando in Apocalypse Now, The Third Man, The Kinks, and who knows what else besides (the background pages come from Moby Dick via an earlier Itin video – he recycles his own material as well as that of others). It’s an absurdist delight, with a magnificent title (André the Giant was a wrestler and actor popular in America) and a sublime closing dissolve from camera in the hand to skull in the hand. Sometimes movies should only be like this.
Juliet Must Die
Posted by: P.M.
Cast: P.M. (presumably)
Credits: Produced in association with the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Adaption by P.M. Voice by András Cséfalvay. Photography by Matúš Bence, Martina Slováková. Editing by Peter Kotrha. Grip, Vladimir Biskupský. Music, Samuel Barber ‘Adagio for Strings’, Richard Wagner ‘Liebestod’
After a period of unenforced silence, BardBox returns with a new look but the same purpose: to locate, document and present new forms of Shakespearean production that are being produced as online videos. This distinctive reverie inspired by Romeo and Juliet is a fine example of the genre, helped by having a great title (echoing the feature film Romeo Must Die). This is a highly personalised take on Shakespeare’s heroine, with whom the filmmaker clearly feels a strong affinity. She calls the film “a short self- portrait based on the last lines of Romeo’s character” (actually a mixture of lines spoken by Romeo in Act 1, “O brawling love! O loving hate!”, and his last words, ending “I still will stay with thee/ And never from this palace of dim night / Depart again: here, here will I remain”). It is Romeo’s word we hear, quietly spoken, while we see a woman lost in thought in some woods, caught between memories and intimations of death. The filmmaker describes her interpretation as
… a melancholic story of struggle set in the dully dreamscape that witnesses unabled emotional states of longing and despair. At given time a rush towards reconciliation to death reveals a brief, fleeting moment of connection between ‘star-crossed’ lovers until the dream to dwell is shattered.
Starting point of self-stageing [sic] fiction is using the concept of the cinematic fundamental apparatus based on intensive, emotional and cognitive relationship of the spectator with the spectacular female body coded as “to- be- look- at- ness”.
Interpret that how you will, but what we seem to get is Juliet’s predicament as a jumping-off point for personal reflection rather than any precise correlative to Shakespeare’s character, with the images ultimately defying textual interpretation because they are intended to linger in the mind as images. The video is beautifully shot, and the production Slovakian in original, with Romeo’s words appearing as Slovak subtitles, as well as being spoken in English (“O brawling love! O loving hate!). As with the many Ophelia videos and photo-montages to be found, this is evidence of the deep identification with Shakespeare’s doomed heroines that is finding heartfelt expression in the online world.
Posted by: BloodOctopus
Cast: not given
Credits: Music by Mathew Letersky
Another year, another Hamlet rap, but this is one of the better ones to be found on YouTube. It’s a Canadian student rapping the ‘to be or not to be’ soliloquy for his English class. It’s captured handheld from a mid-classroom viewpoint in the plainest of styles, but what makes the video is the performer’s conviction and astute use of emphasis (note the punch of ‘give us pause’ followed by ‘respect’). This is Hamlet as a rap because it was meant to be rapped, not because it might be funny to do so.
Posted by: Scott Rogers
Cast: Paul Ramey (Hamlet), Dave Nilsen (Claudius/Ghost), Rhonda Allen (Gertrude), Katerina Tamburro (Horatio), Anna Meade (Ophelia), Darrell Newcomb (Laertes), Charles Lemons (Polonius), Luke Holladay (Fortinbras), Neil Mulac (The Captain), Jason Potts (Guildenstern), Donavon Shain (Rosencrantz), Rick Marquardt (Sourdough Perkins)
Credits: A Natural Light/Panopticon Production. Executive producer Roger C. Adams, produced by Roger C. Adams, Patrick Points, Jennifer Bowman, Scott Rogers, original music by Tom Staples, Paul Ramey, additional music by Rick Marquardt, sound editing and design by Randy Chance, cinematography by Bill Green and Scott Rogers, written, directed and edited by Scott Rogers
This is very good. It’s a 2003 American production, made probably for local consumption or a film competition in the pre-online video sites era, and uploaded five years later in hopes of finding a wider audience. It certainly deserves to find one. It’s a deconstruction and reconstruction of Hamlet, set in modern times, mostly within Claudius’ claustrophobic house. Although ‘amateur’ in production, it is shot and edited with real style, employing some choices of camera angle to match the often witty take on the Hamlet story. Using modern-day speech, some of the eye-catching variations played on Shakespeare include a banjo player instead of the players, a female Horatio, the asphyxiation of the drunken Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Ophelia slitting her veins in a bath (the film has something of an excess of blood). Best of all are a slacker Fortinbras and friend whose comic exchanges neatly frame the film (the droll beginning and end of the film are particularly good). Performances otherwise are adequate to the purpose. The action scenes don’t work so well, and one has to admit that the film itself has nothing to say, but its invention and attention to detail mark it out as some special. Well worth thirty minutes of any Shakespearean’s time.
Shakespeare Sonnet 81
Posted by: froj2002
Credits: Made by froj2002
How many ways do we have to approaching the task of translating Shakespeare into moving images? Ways without number, I hope. So we introduce a new category to BardBox with Typography, which filmmakers visualise the words themselves. Here we have a creative expression of sonnet 81, “Or I shall live your epitaph to make”. The words are expressed at readable pace through a mixture of hard-made by, text placed over objects (the word ‘epitaph’ on a gravestone) and text created out of natural objects (writing on a steamy mirror). Overlaid by a breathy music track with delicate piano and deft timing (note the lingering of the final word “men”), the result is hynoptic and, yes, poetic. Certainly it’s a method that encourages us literally to see the text, and it’s a means of creating expressive Shakespeare content that anyone with the passion to do so can do cheaply, easily, and without players.
Posted by: Cedric Vilim
Cast: Not given
Credits: Shot and edited by Cedric Vilim, music ‘Squarepusher’ by The Exploding Psychology
A peculiar intepretation of Macbeth’s lines, “What hands are here? Hah! They pluck out mine eyes. / Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather / The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red.” (Act 2 Scene 2). On one level, it’s a man in a bath with apples, intercut with shots of cuts of meat, overlaid by electro dance music. On another level … who can say? But it’s certainly unexpected. And uncategorisable.
Posted by: deathpunkscum
Credits: Giordano Travera (Script and treatment), Michele Socci (Photography), Gabriel Spada (Post-production)
Cast: Not given
A stylish visualization of Macbeth, akin to pop video. A haunted male figure stares at himself in mirror then wanders down Italian railway stations, interccut with striking symbolic images (a hypodermic needle, a burning playing card, buildings in bright sunlight contrasted with dank passageways) overlaid by electronica and a whispered, threatening monologue paraphrasing Macbeth’s soliloquy from Act 1 Scene 7 (“If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well / It were done quickly”). This is thinking in images, inspired by word-images, showing how well the soliloquies lend themselves to this sort of impressionistic treatment.
Posted by: pulsetv.ir
Credits: Created by Alireza Alborzi
Cast: The Simpsons
One doesn’t expect to find Shakespeare parodies on an Iranian web TV channel, but that’s where this video resides (specifically on Pulsetv.ir, which is a channel on Blip.tv). It’s a mash-up of scenes from assorted episodes of The Simpsons to produce the world’s favourite American family’s interpretation of Othello. Homer is Othello, Marge is Desdemona, Sideshow Bob is Iago – it all just falls into place. The humour is doubled by the portentous trailer commentary, cheekily lifted from the trailer for Oliver Parker’s feature film Othello (as are the closing titles). Silly stuff, but done well.
Shakespeare Writes a New Play
Posted by: meetwillshakespeare
Credits: Conceived and produced by Connor Ratliff and Jeff Falzone
Cast: Connor Ratliff (William Shakespeare)
BardBox has already Chris Rozzi and Billy Harper as comedians who post videos in the guise of William Shakespeare. Now we have Connor Ratliff exhibiting similar intimations of grandeur. Ratliff produces the Meet William Shakespeare channel, in which he plays a William Shakespeare facing up to the modern world, while being smugly proud of his reputation. Here we are privileged to witness Shakespeare writing a new play. Act One sounds like the Bard has resorted to soap opera, but Act Four promises to be quite exciting. Then we get the off-screen interviewer asking Shakespeare if this change in his style isn’t going to upset his traditional fan base, to which Shakespeare sturdily replies that “Shakespeare is like a shark – he has to keep moving forward”. Those old plays, they took forever to write – now he produces seven a day. My hat is off to thou.
Posted by: christy gordon
Credits: Created by Christy Gordon. Background song, ‘These Days’ by Nico
Cast: Members of BYU Young Company Shakespeare Troupe, Christy Gordon (Sir Andrew Aguecheek)
This unusual video has its origins in a BYU (Brigham Young University) Young Company Shakespeare Troupe’s one-hour production of Twelfth Night, which was taken to elementary schools in the USA. A succession of young people (in present-day dress) are interviewed in the familiar TV style of short statements tightly edited together, about what they thought of the late Sir Andrew Aguecheek. It does have the air of an in-joke among the cast that no one else can quite share in (part of the joke is that the filmmaker herself played Aguecheek, seen only in a photo at the end). However, the video is well made and has real charm. As a Shakespeare video, it is one on its own.
Posted by: mcshnee
Credits: Created by Caitlin Boulter, Daniel Fry, Tristan Schumacher and Alex Tinker, music by David Evans
Cast: Alex Tinker (Imogen), Daniel Fry (Cloten)
This intriguing and stylish Australian short film is decribed as “drawing upon characters and ideas from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline“, its subject being “the destructive nature of greed”. It is probably a work better experienced than explained, but it features an unhappy couple (Imogen and Cloten), dividing up the belongings of a deceased woman, which include a copy of Shakespeare’s works, hidden within which (at Cymbeline) are some banknotes. It ends with the reading of a will, at which the complete works is bequeathed “to my cherished granddaughter Imogen Cymbeline”. It is well acted, very competently shot (the sound recording is less clear) and all together it is most pleasingly mysterious. One to watch and then watch again.
Hamlet Act 2
Posted by: abnormalpapsmear
Credits: Inappropriate Emotion Theatre presents. Music and animation by Greg Wrenn. Some models provided by Eggington Productions
Cast: Greg Wrenn (Hamlet), Philip Michaels (Ghost)
Very enjoyable jokey computer animation, depicting Hamlet’s encounter with the ghost. There is more invention here in three minutes than many films have at thirty times the length. Swooping camera, dynamic low-level tracking shots, striking changes in angle, surprise visual references (the use of a slot machine), grand music and of course the unexpected factor of having the parts played by what the filmmaker calls mutant teddy bears. Yes it’s silly, but all the words are there, and it’s done in a spirit of affectionate fun.
Loves Labours Lost
Posted by: luizmarcelota
Credits: Filmed by Cabeça
If only, they sigh, we could see how Shakespeare’s plays were performed in their time? How wonderful it would be if there had been some form of Elizabethan camcorder which could have recorded the live performance, for the delight of future generations.
Were such an impossible film to turn up, it might look just a little like this. Filmed by a Brazilian tourist at London’s Globe Theatre in September 2007, it shows Dominic Dromgoole’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost filmed from the back of the theatre, through the heads of the people in front. The camera shakes a bit, drifts around, we’re too far away to see who is performing or what they are saying – and there’s only ninety seconds of it anyway.
But if this were all that we had, what treasures we could still derive from it. We would see staging, costuming, scenery, the relation of performer to audience, the behaviour and dress of that audience, even learn from the snatches of conversation heard about such pressing mundanities as cushions to sit on. And how we would struggle to identify the performers and to derive some sense of them from these long-shot glimpses. Indeed, what debates there would be as to what play we were in fact watching, had our Elizabethan filmmaker neglected to include such information. It would keep academic conferences going for years. As it is, it’s a typical short record of a stage performance, of which many exist on YouTube from the Globe alone.
Ophelia’s Suicide Soliloquy
Posted by: fidelis1400
Credits: Written and performed by fidelis1400
Cast: fidelis1400 (Ophelia)
Oh, that my expiring heart, craving for love
Had not been inflamed by thee, thee the most unfeeling creature…
Shakespeare did not provide Ophelia with a suicide speech, and we learn of her death only through another’s description. Though few who have tried to embellish, imitate or rectify Shakespeare according to their own tastes have proved successful, fidelis1400 has made so bold as to write and perform an imaginary final speech for Ophelia. Whether or not it’s needed does not matter much. As a performance it is done with feeling, filmed in searching close-up in semi-darkness (the watery sound effects off-set somewhat by the glass door in the background). The poetry is not exactly iambic pentameter, but this needs rather to be seen as a critique of Shakespeare, who made Ophelia a victim without words enough to let us understand her own tragedy.
Shakespeare Soul Brutha’
Posted by: MrLemonhead
Credits: Directed, produced and filmed by Vincent Conard. A Mr. Lemonhead Production
Cast: Vincent Conard (Hamlet)
No other passage from Shakespeare is so prevalent on YouTube as the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy, or so badly treated. The number of them runs into hundreds, and the vast majority are empty of meaning or poetry, of interest more for the earnest intentions with which they have been produced than for the results.
And then, every now and then, you come across a good one. Here American bit part actor Vincent Conard (aka Mr Lemonhead) gives us a rendition in a luxuriantly Southern accent, an angle which might have been taken for comic effect but which instead brings out nuances and resonances which makes one hear the soliloquy anew. The eerie music lingering in the background, the grainy image, and the knife that Hamlet fingers all the while, all add to a video that cleverly plays with our expectations. Interesting too that Hamlet softens as the speech progresses, and even ends up blowing a kiss to Ophelia.
13th Night: Malvolio’s Revenge
Posted by: generalg1992
Credits: Created by Michael, filmed by Maggie, Shaina and Mrs Elinson
Cast: Michael (Malvolio), Sam (Toby, Andrew, Sabastion [sic], Maggie (Mariah [sic]), Shaina (Viola)
An excellent title for a 7th Grade sequel to Twelfth Night in which a teenage Malvolio is indeed revenged upon the whole pack of them, as he slaughters the cast of the play one by one, until meeting his comeuppance. Mostly swordfights, but that’s revenge for you.
Richard III … with Gnarls Barkley
Posted by: kjnwcedu
Credits: Created by Keith Jones
Cast: Frederick Warde (Richard III)
Another mashing up of silent Shakespeare with unlikely music by Professor Keith Jones, the man who gave us Julius Caesar with a wassailing song. Here extracts from the 1912 feature film Richard III, starring Frederick Warde, is introduced to Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Feng Shui’. Anything to save it from being done straight with Ennio Morricone…
Silent Julius Caesar and old fashioned English wassail
Posted by: kjnwcedu
Credits: Created by Keith Jones
Cast: Amleto Novelli, Giovanna Terribili Gonzalès, Pina Menichelli, Ruffo Geri, Ignazio Lupi, Irene Mattadra, Bruto Castellani, Augusto Mastripietri, Sigira Geri, Orlando Ricci, Carlo Duse, Lea Orlandi
Keith Jones is an American professor of English and Literature who maintains the Shakespeare and Film Microblog. As well as gathering together information and thoughts on Shakespeare and film, Jones adds his own mashups, of which this is an uplifting example. Strictly speaking the Italian 1914 epic Cajus Julius Caesar has nothing to do with Shakespeare play, but the joyous coming together of ancient Romans milling about with an (unnamed) group singing the Gower Wassail demands its inclusion here.
Shakespeare on Fantasy Football
Posted by: crozzi
Credits: Created by Chris Rozzi
Cast: Chris Rozzi (William Shakespeare)
Were William Shakespeare alive today, would he be blogging? Of course he would, and he’d probably become so engrossed by its spurious attractions that he’d never get round to writing any plays. Whether his blog, or vlog, would be like this one, who can say? I like to think that it might have been. American comedian Chris Rozzi portrays Shakespeare as posting his ‘semi-daily’ thoughts on modern living. Here, Shakespeare is baffled by the modern absurdity that is fantasy football. Elsewhere, Shakespeare tells us about the worst job he ever had (dancer in a jail cafeteria), on the need to teach children to fight (because when adults they’ll just want to hug), on professional wrestling (not Olympic wrestling, that’s just embarassing), his new diet plan (you’d only be able to eat in the shower) and agonising on why no one watches his vlogs. And there are several more. Gentle, silly humour with astute timing.
Posted by: clanxmac
Credits: Created by clanxmac (Liz), music ‘Nineveh’ by E.S. Posthumous. A Low Flying Kiwi Production
Cast: Christian Bale (Othello), Emily Watson (Desdemona), Sean Bean (Iago), Angus MacFayden (Brabanzio), Tyne Diggs (Cassio), Sean Pertwee (The Duke of Venice)
This is really quite inspired. Its creator has taken footage from the 2002 film Equilibrium, starring Christian Bale, Emily Watson and Sean Bean, and recut it as though it were a trailer for an Othello. The original film is a science fiction drama, set in a future world controlled by a Fascistic regime which suppresses the emotions and the arts. Equilibrium has no connection with Othello (it owes rather more to Orwell), but by concentrating on the three characters, with some clever choice of shots, and with a good deal of the power of suggestion making our minds doing the rest of the work for her, the filmmaker does indeed create something like Othello (even if Othello himself is not black). It goes on a bit long, and the mispelling of ‘despair’ is unfortunate, but as a kind of mashup in reverse, this is a creative piece of work.
(The video opens with lines from W.B. Yeats’ “He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven” – Yeats’ poetry is a feature of the film Equilibrium).
Hamlet’s Tale of Awesome
Posted by: JesseMeza07
Credits: Written by Jesse Meza, animated by Jesse Meza and Nick Sampson, artwork by Nick Sampson
Cast: Jesse Meza (voices)
Genuinely funny cut-down Flash animated version of Hamlet, apparently produced as a school project, though at times it looks too professional. A little more attention to the final scenes, where the filmmakers appear to have become a bit bored with their subject, would have turned it into a good film. The video skims through the ghost’s first appearance (“Casper? Is that you?”), ‘to be or not to be’, Hamlet’s questionable sexuality, the ghost telling Hamlet that he is his father (“Wow, you can recite Star Wars quotes”), a play performed by sock puppets entitled “How a King killed his brother and married his wife”, a bloodbath of revenge in which everyone dies, and Fortinbras becomes king (“Pretty dull, right?”). The result is not just a spoof of the familiar, but highlights those aspects of the play that might seem ridiculous, dull or simply not credible to a high school audience. It puts up to ridicule those absurdities all too evident to the indifferent.
Posted by: mf99
Credits: The credits, in MTV Style, say “Lear”, by Wilson Mccutchan, on Phat Phish Records
Cast: David Mclean (King Lear), Chris Teolis (Cordelia), Kevin Hagino (The Fool), James Mangan (Stunt Lear), Andrew McConnon (Regan), Victor Wong (Goneril), Wilson Mccutchan (Lead Vocal)
A first-rate parody of the video for Eminem’s ‘Stan’, changing the story from that of an obsessed fan who writes repeatedly to Eminem before killing himself and his girlfriend, to King Lear writing to his daughter Cordelia (“Dear Cordelia, I wrote to you, but you still ain’t calling, hope there’s not a problem, I sent two letters to France in autumn…”), complete with the sample from Dido’s ‘Thank You’ to intercut the familiar tale of ‘drama, violence and death’. It works ingeniously well, finding adroit parallels in these two tales of disordered passion, maybe even offering some insight into the psychodrama that is King Lear.
Posted by: Christopher Merrill
Credits: Filmed by Christopher Merrill
Cast: Christopher Merrill (Bishop of Carlisle)
Intense rendition in an unflinching close-up of the Bishop of Carlisle’s speech, “Worst in this royal presence may I speak, Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth …” from Richard II, Act 4 Scene 1. The performer is American Christopher Merrill, who has published several such recitations. The intimacy – or absence of restraint – that YouTube once again encourages the creation of a closeness between performer and screen unlike any other form of screen Shakespeare (but not perhaps a closeness between performer and audience?).
Meerkat Playhouse – King Lear
Posted by: ronh100
Credits: Created by ronh100
A palpably weird animated video in which three meerkats give us a reading from King Lear, Act 2 Scene 2 (“thou art a boil, A plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle, In my corrupted blood…”). One meerkat announces the scene, one reads Lear’s words, one shares the words of Goneril and Regan. Its creator ronh100 specialises in animated heads, usually of famous or iconic figures, singing songs or making variously bizarre statements. Here there seems to be no better reason for meerkats to be giving a reading of King Lear than that is not what you would ever expect of meerkats. Or King Lear.
Posted by: Pettfej
Credits: Written and animated by Peter Olsson. All music credits given at the end of the video
The basic narrative of The Tempest animated in Flash to make it look like a rudimentary computer game (Ferdinand is tested by having to visit the Pit of Doom), with text, graphics and MIDI electronic music (including themes from Super Mario, Monkey Island etc). Shakespeare’s words do not feature.
Fear no more the heat o’ the sun
Posted by: poetryanimations
Credits: Created by Jim Clark
Cast: Robert Donat (voice)
A slightly unsettling animation in which a portrait of William Shakespeare is seen to deliver the ‘Fear no more the heat o’ the sun’ speech from Cymbeline (Act 4 Scene 2). The animation was created Jim Clark, who has made a speciality of creating similar animations of portraits of poets ‘reading’ their work (Wilfred Owen, John Keats, T.S. Eliot etc). In this instance, Shakespeare’s words are provided by a recording of the British actor Robert Donat. The image is protected at various points with a spoiler.
Jim Clark has also produced a similar animation of Shakespeare reciting ‘All the world’s a stage’ from As You Like It and Hamlet’s advice to the players, animated to a c.1919 Edison sound recording by Harry E. Humphrey.
Posted by: sparkshorts
Credits: Created by sparkshorts
Haunting and unusual animation film which interpets Ariel’s ‘Full fathom five’ song from The Tempest (Act 1 Scene 2) without reciting the words at all. Instead we see a changing hand over which objects and tiny animated figures play, while we hear sea noises, children cries, a burst of Edith Piaf and some heavy breathing, the latter echoing the use of such sounds in Derek Jarman’s feature film The Tempest.
Much Ado About Nothing
Posted by: LiveTheatreSkaro
Credits: Produced by Rogues and Vagabonds
Cast: Dalek Snowdon (Beatrice), Dalek Kenneth (Benedick), with Alan Knight, Kit Loughmane, Linds Redding
Dalek Masterpiece Theatre presents Much Ado About Nothing (Act 4 Scene 1). Beatrice and Benedick are portrayed as Daleks, the sinister pepper pots from the BBC television series Doctor Who. The lines are mostly Shakespeare’s (with a few references to the Daleks’ leader, Davros, and the inspired borrowing of the Daleks’ famous cry to give us ‘Exterminate Claudio!), until the two performers end up squabbling, with intervention off-camera by the director. Dalek Masterpiece Theatre describes itself as “an all-Dalek amateur dramatic society”. In reality (?) it is a production of Rogues and Vagabonds, a touring theatre company from Waiheke Island, New Zealand.
Hamlet – to be or not to be
Posted by: randomagain101
A ‘slightly condensed’ rendition of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy (i.e. the performer appears to have forgotten some of the words), performed by a rabbit hand puppet, done with as much seriousness as the circumstances allow.
Pac Man Hamlet
Posted by: JohnInkk
Credits: Created by John Ink
The essence of Hamlet in fifty seconds, expressed in pleasingly minimalist style through ‘characters’ from the Pacman arcade game representing Hamlet and the Ghost, and very few words (“Junior, I am your father. Avenge me”).
Hamlet (Derry Film Initiative)
Posted by: Stephen Cavanagh
Credits: Written and directed by Stephen Cavanagh, produced by Richard Hughes and Keith O’Grady, music by Zan Lyons, cinematography by Stephen Cavanagh, Ellen Factor, Keith O’Grady, editing by Ellen Factor, Keith O’Grady
Cast: Stephen Cavangh (Hamlet), James Lecky (Claudius), Yvonne Richardson (Gertrude), Simone Kirby (Ophelia), Chris Simpson (Laertes), Antony Doherty (Horatio), Dominic Stewart (Polonius), Colin Stewart (Rosencrantz), Martin O’Brien (Guildenstern), Charlie Hughes (First Player), Anne Fitzpatrick (Second Player), Damien Devaney (Third Player), Declan Reynolds (Barnardo), Thomas Mullan (Marcellus), P.J. Gallagher (Gravedigger), Richard Hughes (The Associate), Keith O’Grady (Priest), Matthew Jennings (Aussie Rick), Anthony Brown (Ghost), Veronica Brown (Nurse)
The Derry Film Initiative’s Hamlet, directed by Stephen Cavanagh in 2005, is arguably one of the most creative and successful Shakespeare films in recent years. It relocates Hamlet to modern Northern Ireland, reflecting the region’s violent history (the film’s opening transposes the lines from Act V, to remind us “Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters, Of deaths put on by cunning and forcéd cause”). Produced for a pittance, the film relies on strong performances, a battery of imaginative, filmic coups (particularly the use of point-of-view shots from Hamlet’s perspective), and the particularly resonant tones of Northern Ireland speech.
The Derry Film Initiative is a not-for-profit organsiation based in Derry, Northern Ireland, which aims to bring together talents from within the local filmmaking and acting communities to build a home-grown filmmaking base in the city. Hamlet was shot on digital video in and around Londonderry. All cast and crew worked for free, and supplied their own props. The film was not released theatrically, instead being released free to all online.
[Update (December 2011): Since this post was first published the version of the film available in ten parts on YouTube has been taken down and has been replaced by the higher image quality single version on Vimeo]
My name is Macbeth
Posted by: SupaComix
Credits: Directed and animated by Nick Browne, music by Mitch Benn
A Lego animation, marrying the story of Macbeth to a rap accompaniment not so far away from Eminem. The animation is rudimentary by some brickfilm standards, but it makes a virtue of its roughness, and serves as a witty comment on the play. The obligatory expletives have been deleted. The assorted Lego figures include characters from Star Wars as the three witches. The film was directed and animated by Nick Browne, who manages the Supa Comix website, which is dedicated to the worlds of online media and comic books. This is an output of one of the site’s projects, ‘We 3 Men’. Music is by Mitch Benn (with a burst of Green Day over the credits).
Shakespeare in the Ghetto, Shylock
Posted by: sykesmarcus
Credits: Filmed by Marcus Sykes
Cast: Marcus Sykes (Shylock)
Marcus Sykes delivers Shylock’s speech “To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, It will feed my revenge”, The Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 1. A muted but interesting interpretation. One of a series of video monologues titled onscreen either Shakesphere in the Ghetto or Shakespeer in the Ghetto.
Posted by: CheekbyJowl
Credits: Director of stage production Declan Donnellan
Cast (stage production): Gwendoline Christie (Queen), Tom Hiddleston (Posthumus/Cloten), Jodie McNee (Imogen), David Collings (Cymbeline), Richard Cant (Pisanio), Guy Flanagan (Iachimo)
eTrailer for the Cheek by Jowl production of Cymbeline, which played at the Barbican, London, 24 May-23 June 2007. In form the short trailer comes across almost like a silent film, with dialogue-less glimpses of highspots of the action, interspersed with titles giving lines from the play, and then critics’ comments.