King Lear video capsule review: 1999, directed by Brian Blessed [Blessed]

Kicking off our video capsule reviews for King Lear

First up, I’ve got a 1999 film version directed by and starring Brian Blessed. Now Blessed is known primarily as an actor, and a pretty damned good Shakespearean one at that, having appeared in multiple film versions by Kenneth Branagh…but personally I’ve liked the guy since the 70s for work in I, Claudius and Flash Gordon.

He’s got only one directorial credit, however, and this is it:

So, it’s obviously a passion piece. But is it any good?

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Suggested viewing: PBS’s Shakespeare Uncovered – King Lear

As we begin to wrap-up basic plot stuff for King Lear, and begin to take the deeper dive, here’s a great hour-long discussion of the play…

PBS has been running a show called Shakespeare Uncovered, taking (usually) a play (but sometimes a genre–like the cross-dressing comedies) and delving into its history, sources, plot and intricacies, all shot through the perspective of a well-known actor or director who has (or is) tackling that particular play:

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The Guardian – King Lear – Roger Allam

The Guardian has been releasing what they’ve been calling “Shakespeare Solos” — short films of soliloquies and set speeches from the Bard, recited by British actors. The releases run the gamut from the so-famous-it-borders-on-cliche (Adrian Lester doing Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ and David Morrissey with Richard III’s ‘Now is the winter of our discontent’) to the less expected (Camille O’Sullivan’s ‘Thou art not holy’ from King John, and the wonderful ‘Are you meditating on virginity?’ from All’s Well That Ends Well by Sacha Dhawan).

Why do I mention this?

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How about a song? What, are you Lear-y?

OK, I’ve mentioned in the past my love for a Canadian TV series, Slings and Arrows, that follows a fictional(ized version of the Stratford Festival) theater group and its serio-comic trials and tribulations over the course of three seasons. The first deals with a production of Hamlet, the second with Macbeth, and the third? You guessed it, King Lear.

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Podcast 123: Interview with Seamus Sullivan, co-writer/producer of “Titus and Dronicus”

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This week’s podcast includes a special interview with Seamus Sullivan, co-writer/producer of the new web series, Titus and Dronicus.

TitusAndDronicus

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Titus and Dronicus

Last May, I ran a quick blurb on a potential new web series, Titus and Dronicus, a private-eye parody that had a teaser trailer up on YouTube.

TitusAndDronicus

Well, I found out this weekend that last week, the first season of the web series launched. I’ve check it out and it is excellent; I loved it. The three-episode arc is a great comic take on Hamlet.
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Podcast 120: Othello video reviews

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This week’s podcast continues our (now) three month-long discussion of Othello with a look at the video versions available.

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Othello capsule review: 2007, directed by Wilson Milam [Walker/McInnerny]

A full review will come as part of an overview of the videos available, but for now…

In 2007, Shakespeare’s Globe in England produced a production of Othello directed by Wilson Milam and starring Eamonn Walker as the Moor, and Ian McInnerny as Iago. As with most of Shakespeare’s Globe’s productions, a performance was captured for video release.

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Othello super-edit: “I hate the Moor…”

I’m wrapping up my viewings of the many videos of Othello, and, boy, are my eyes tired. (OK, not all of the versions, but many) I love how Iago’s Act One, Scene Three soliloquy with “I hate the Moor” can have a number of different readings.

You know me… just a boy with Premiere Pro and a desire to be always tinkerin’…

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Othello capsule review: 1989, directed by Janet Suzman [Kani/Haines]

A full review will come as part of an overview of the videos available, but for now…

In 1989, as part of what IMDB describes as a “TV Movie,” British (but South African-born) actress Janet Suzman directed her one and only film, an adaptation of Othello with South African actor John Kani in the lead and Richard Haddon Haines as Iago. This was based upon her own stage production that ran in apartheid South Africa in 1987. Contemporaneous with the 1989 Trevor Nunn version, this marks one of the first captured Othellos that was played by a black actor.

this is a HORRIBLE picture/representation of the two leads… btw.

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