You couldn’t make it up! Joss Whedon’s Shakespeare rocks (and 5 other unexpected movies)

Much Ado About Nothing Whedon poster

Well, OK, then! Joss Whedon (of all people) has adapted Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing – and contrary to most reasonable expectations, the critics say it’s pretty good.

Really? Well, here goes:  Continue reading

The Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice

I watched this 2004 adaptation by Michael Radford today. It’s the one with Al Pacino as Shylock and Jeremy Irons as the titular merchant, Antonio. It’s not a play I’m familiar with – though of course I know it by reputation – so I was very pleasantly surprised by the sheer breadth of emotions it evoked. Famous for its gruesome premise, I didn’t expect a “comedy”, but this was how it was originally billed. Then again, the original meaning of comedy was not “funny film”, but a distinction from tragedy or history. “Drama” would probably be the billing it would get these days – though there’s a rich vein of warm wit running through it, which lifts it from its sadder moments.

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The New York Times: Would the Bard Have Survived the Web?

Picture from NYTimes: Shakespeare/Jennifer Daniel

ARCHAEOLOGISTS finished a remarkable dig last summer in East London. Among their finds were seven earthenware knobs, physical evidence of a near perfect 16th-century experiment into the link between commerce and culture.

Thus begins a very interesting article at the New York Times I read today.

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