H2016: Firing on all Cylinders

This week, with the conclusion of the university term, I actually find myself with some time to take stock. And what a lot of stock there is to take! Recently, we hit a number of milestones worth celebrating: first, we reached the halfway mark in the rehearsal process, with two months down and two months…

Hamlet on Film: 1921 with Asta Nielsen

In the internet age, it’s a marvel how something like Svend Gade and Heinze Schall’s 1921 silent Hamlet can be simultaneously ubiquitous and unheard of. The complete film is available on YouTube, making it probably the most instantly accessible film version of the play. Yet it’s not uncommon to see even detailed commentaries on the…

Hamlet on Film: Kevin Kline, 1990

Released the same year as Franco Zeffirelli and Mel Gibson’s film version, Kevin Kline’s Hamlet stands as its equal and perfect opposite. Where Zeffirelli is operatic, Kline is utilitarian; where Zeffirelli is historically authentic, Kline is unapologetically modern; where Z. encourages his cast to indulge in histrionics, K. and his supporting cast dial it down,…

Wonderous Strange: I Ain’t Afraid of No Girl!

This morning, with the official announcement of the Ghostbusters reboot cast making waves around the internet, I find myself thinking once again about female Hamlets. I mentioned my interest in passing earlier, when I reported that Maxine Peake‘s genderbent portrayal of the Dane was coming to film. Today, I want to go further back. It…

Maxine Peake’s Hamlet on Film

Marvelous news, at least for British Hamlet fans. Last year’s Royal Exchange Theatre production in Manchester, directed by Sarah Frankcom and starring Maxine Peake in the title role, will be adapted to film in 2015. Currently, there will only be limited screenings in the UK, but I’m sure a DVD/BluRay release will follow. I am…

Hamlet on Film: Franco Zeffirelli/Mel Gibson, 1990

To start the process of cataloging productions of Hamlet, I figured I’d start with the first film version I saw: Franco Zeffirelli’s 1990 production, starring Alan Bates, Glenn Close, and Mel Gibson. I saw this film during its theatrical release, which would have made me 16 or 17. I’m pretty sure I read the play…