Thursday 25 November 2004

Silent Shakespeare (1899-1911) - ickleReview (cinema)

A collection of seven silent short adaptations of Shakespeare plays, filmed between 1899 and 1911 in the UK, US and Italy. They have been compiled by the British Film Institute and set to music by London College of Music graduate Laura Rossi (performed live at this screening at the Phoenix Picturehouse, Oxford). The titles are King John, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Richard III. They are certainly worth restoring because they are part of the early history of cinema; but by modern standards of film-making, they seem quaint and primitive. Because they are silent, the acting is often exaggerated and melodramatic, and some of the films - notably King John and Richard III - show the heavy influence of theatre on early cinema.

Nugget: turn on the projector and the rest is silence.

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