Podcast 120: Othello video reviews

[archive]

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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Othello capsule review: 1965, directed by Stuart Burge [Olivier/Finlay]

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

In 1965, while in the midst of a three-year run repertory run at the National Theatre in London, John Dexter’s staging of Othello, with Laurence Olivier in the lead and Frank Finlay as Iago, was filmed by Stuart Burge. You’d think that this full-color film with the greatest living Shakespearean actor would merit a big splashy theatrical release. And you’d be wrong. Instead, it was sent out in “roadshow” fashion, playing in most cities for only two days.

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Willful Pictures’ How Shakespeare Changed My Life

Just a quick blast on some cool stuff I just discovered…

Willful Pictures (twitter) is a small independent film production company out of New York City.

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Othello capsule review: 1952, directed by Orson Welles [Welles/MacLiammóir]

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

In 1949, production began under the direction of Orson Welles on his version of the play, starring himself as Othello and Micheál MacLiammóir as Iago. This is another case of a white actor tackling the role, but in this case because the film was shot in black and white (no pun intended), it didn’t seem so obvious a case of blackface. In a sense, I think the goal here was much as the same as in the 1981 BBC version–to play up the Moor/Muslim (rather than black) angle.

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Othello capsule review: 1981, BBC Collected Works, directed by Jonathan Miller [Hopkins/Hoskins]

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

In 1981, as part of the BBC Collected Works series, producer Jonathan Miller kicked off the fourth season with his own directed version of Othello with Anthony Hopkins as the Moor, and Bob Hoskins as Iago. If I’m not mistaken, this is the last time a televised production used a white actor in the role of Othello.

courtesy players-Shakespeare.com

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Othello capsule review: 1995, directed by Oliver Parker [Fishburne/Branagh]

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

In 1995, English actor Oliver Parker made his writing and directorial debut with a version of Othello with Laurence Fishburne in the title role and Kenneth Branagh as Iago. Coming on the heels of his Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing, this marks the first (and only time) that Branagh appeared in a film adaptation of Shakespeare that he didn’t direct himself.

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