If not Ran what is the epitome of the Shakespearian cinema? Of course the Criterion Collection embraces Laurence Oliver and his choice adaptations, but what are others who capture the tragedy and the comedy that makes Shakespeare timeless?
I love Ran, but the more time I think about it I like Titus more and more, I love the edge it has. Great performances, some beautiful visuals, and has one of my two favorite Shakespeare lines ever, “But yet let reason govern thy lament.”
I have been unable to watch Titus because the vile DVD by mail tyrant that is Netflix has made it unavailable, but I digress. Ran plain and simple made me weep, actually I am feeling a little weepy typing this. The tragedy of unheeded foresight is so hard to swallow as a viewer.
You may find my list Shakespeare Films in the Lists section of interest.
I would recommend:
King Lear (Kozintsev)
Chimes at Midnight (Welles)
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa)
We’ve had these sort of threads before, so I imagine someone with more initiative than myself will soon post a link to them, as often happens.
That being said, I’m personally quite fond of Prospero’s Books.
The Tempest (Derek Jarman)
My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant)
I actually haven’t really read any of the originals, and have only seem Henry IV being performed on stage, so it’s hard for me judge these as “adaptations”. However, as movies, Throne of Blood is perfect, a masterpiece. Really disliked both Ran and Othello (Welles).
1) Ran (Kurosawa)
2) Throne of Blood (Kurosawa)
3) Hamlet (Branagh)
4) Chimes at Midnight (Welles)
5) MacBeth (Polanski)
6) Henry V (Branagh)
7) Hamlet (Almereyda)
8) Richard III (Olivier)
My favorite will always be Tromeo and Juliet.
“Throne of Blood” is my favourite. “Ran” is right behind. Kurosawa was the best!
I never liked Ran much. A fine vision but a clearly chaotic one nonetheless.
Almereyda’s Hamlet is just a gimmick but at least better than the….Gibson travesty!
Yeah the Olivier adaptations are great, not perfect but they stick to the text’s refined status (but I must watch Richard III)
Other great ones:
King Lear (Peter Brook)
The Taming of the Shrew (Franco Zeffirelli)
It’s definately not the best or the most interesting, but Julius Caesar (the one with Brando) has always been one of my favourites.
From the ones that I have seen I’d definitely say that Kurosawa is one of the best adaptors of Shakespeare. I definitely would go with Throne of Blood first, followed by Ran. I also think his adaption of Hamlet, The Bad Sleep Well, is a very good film. Perhaps they work in film so well because he concerns himself more with the visual look of the film rather than quote right from Shakespeare and I think this is partially due to the fact that he is transferring the dialog to another place and time. I haven’t seen Orson Welles’ Othello in a while, but I was impressed partly because I believe he shot that picture on a very low budget.
Welles was one of the very greatest because he was able to keep the dialogue (if edited), but also make visually brilliant films.
Kurosawa had the luxury of not having to work with the dialogue, and so did Kozintsev.
Ran may be the greatest film ever made, though, and Throne of Blood is very high up there.
Henry IV, by Olivier is impressive, and I like the chances that he took. HIs Hamlet is good.
I never liked Polanski’s Macbeth.
A comprehensive book on the subject that I constantly reference is “Shakespeare on Screen” by Daniel Rosenthal.
“Ran may be the greatest film ever made, though”
Ran is an undeniably great film. It is stained by an eighties-ish stylism, but looking past the surface the dynamic nature at the heart gives it an intangible appeal. Melodrama is effective for showing the base of more complex emotions that become worn to the point of vanishing, and are refreshed by simple joy and sorrow.
Its scary to see HAL 9000 going in to a loop ;)
@Pradipt A Mitra I don’t understand your comment. What are you trying to say?
It was a joke :)…you posted the same comment twice, it just reminded me of a computer running in to an infinite loop, and you’re user name is that of a computer….it just sounds awful now.
Turner S wins this competition by guessing the correct answer: Tromeo and Juliet.
Kozintsev is impressive although subtitles on a film that dialogue heavy are a chore.
For a straight adaptation I’ve enjoyed Olivier’s “Richard III” but more for the delivery of lines than the staging.
“Kozintsev is impressive although subtitles on a film that dialogue heavy are a chore.”
That was ironic, right Doinel?
Tarr’s Macbeth is quite good.
how did you get to see that rare bela tarr matt@
Not ironic at all Dimitris. Ironic, moi?
My Own Private Idaho.