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Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    I think the chief mistake that Branagh made in his version of _Hamlet_ is that he s miscast the main role. Branagh can t convincingly play a brooding
    Message 1 of 20 , Mar 2, 2003
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      I think the chief mistake that Branagh made in his version of _Hamlet_ is
      that he's miscast the main role. Branagh can't convincingly play a brooding
      character. (And he was too old, but that's a standard problem for
      productions of _Hamlet_.) As a slick conspirator in _Othello_ or a hammy
      war-leader in _Henry V_ he was well cast, but he's all wrong for Hamlet.
      Where do people get the idea that if you're right for one Shakespearean role
      you're right for all of them? Jacobi was great as Claudius (and he was also
      great some years ago as Hamlet in a stage version of _Hamlet_ that's
      available on videotape).

      Wendell Wagner
    • Stolzi@aol.com
      In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:31 PM Central Standard Time, ... Agreed! ... The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the Emerald
      Message 2 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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        In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:31 PM Central Standard Time,
        thiophene@... writes:


        > I think Billy Crystal made a fine gravedigger.

        Agreed!

        > Robin Williams doing Osric with fey, lisping mannerisms was unforgivable,
        > though

        The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the Emerald
        City of Oz.

        Cd have done without all the super-sexy stuff about Ophelia, and also the
        idea of Hamlet swinging down on the chandelier (or whatever) in the finale
        was... regrettable.

        But yes, it holds attention all the way through, and I can't forget the
        visual image of the great palace with its wide terrace (like a chessboard on
        which a great game is being played?) alone in the snowy waste.

        That lent authenticity to the part of the play which is on a world-events
        scale: Fortinbras and all that.

        Diamond Proudbrook


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Croft, Janet B
        I thought it was one of those uneven masterpieces -- spot-on perfect in most places, squirmingly off in others. But there s another Branagh full-text Hamlet I
        Message 3 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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          I thought it was one of those uneven masterpieces -- spot-on perfect in most
          places, squirmingly off in others. But there's another Branagh full-text
          Hamlet I like even better -- the BBC Radio version, also with Derek Jacobi
          as Claudius and with Judi Dench as Gertrude. If you search Amazon with
          "Hamlet BBC", you'll pull it up. It's available on CD and well worth it.

          Janet

          (PS Someone asked what Jacobi's been up to recently -- www.imdb.com
          <http://www.imdb.com> shows he's been very active in 2002, but the last
          thing he's done that I've actually heard of was Gosford Park, which alas I
          have not yet seen.)

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Stolzi@... [mailto:Stolzi@...]
          Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 10:53 AM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers


          In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:31 PM Central Standard Time,
          thiophene@... writes:


          > I think Billy Crystal made a fine gravedigger.

          Agreed!

          > Robin Williams doing Osric with fey, lisping mannerisms was unforgivable,
          > though

          The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the
          Emerald
          City of Oz.

          Cd have done without all the super-sexy stuff about Ophelia, and also the
          idea of Hamlet swinging down on the chandelier (or whatever) in the finale
          was... regrettable.

          But yes, it holds attention all the way through, and I can't forget the
          visual image of the great palace with its wide terrace (like a chessboard on

          which a great game is being played?) alone in the snowy waste.

          That lent authenticity to the part of the play which is on a world-events
          scale: Fortinbras and all that.

          Diamond Proudbrook


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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        • Ernest Tomlinson
          ... From: To: Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 8:53 AM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers ... unforgivable, ...
          Message 4 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <Stolzi@...>
            To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 8:53 AM
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers


            > In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:31 PM Central Standard Time,
            > thiophene@... writes:

            > > Robin Williams doing Osric with fey, lisping mannerisms was
            unforgivable,
            > > though
            >
            > The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the
            Emerald
            > City of Oz.

            <snort> I don't think I'll be able to get _that_ similarity out of my mind
            now! It didn't occur to me at the time because, believe it or not, I saw
            _The Wizard of Oz_ some years _after_ watching Branagh's _Hamlet_.

            Branagh does give Osric one fine moment; when he announces the arrival of
            Fortinbras, he holds up his bloodied hand to demonstrate Fortinbras's
            "warlike volley".

            Osric's goofy costume points up another problem with Branagh's film; instead
            of setting the story in some definite period or place, _any_ place, he
            cobbles together an odd mixture of costumes and settings. It's everyplace
            and no place. Now I'm not goose enough to fret over Shakespeare
            adaptations' not being "faithful" to some definite setting; as Ian McKellen
            astutely pointed out when his and Richard Loncraine's _Richard III_ came out
            some years ago, the original Shakespearean productions were already
            "modernized"; even the Roman-era plays, which would look pretty strange to
            us if not portrayed in the usual toga-epic fashion that goes back at least
            as far as _Ben Hur_ (1925), were played in Elizabethan dress. All I ask is
            a self-consistent setting. McKellen and Loncraine set _Richard III_ in a
            semi-fantastic '30s England because that was the last time in our memory
            when it was conceivable that an English monarch could have become a
            political power; one thinks of the rumors that the Nazis approached Edward,
            the Duke of Windsor (or "Mr. Simpson" as my mother acidly called him), with
            plans to make him king if they succeeded in conquering England.

            It occurs to me though that I enjoyed Julie Taymor's recent _Titus_, even
            though its setting and costuming is even more wildly muddled than Branagh's.
            But it works, I hate to admit, in some crazy post-modern way, partly because
            Taymor's introduction to the film explicitly compares her staging of _Titus
            Andronicus_ to a child's violent fantasy, and as I can speak from personal
            experience, childish fantasy isn't bound by consistency; one grabs elements
            from any old place or source that appeals to the childlike imagination.

            Cheers,

            Ernest.
          • David S. Bratman
            ... I await the Jackson-defender types who will tell you simply not to think about it. ( Branagh s Hamlet is a movie! The Wizard of Oz is ... er, um ...
            Message 5 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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              At 11:48 AM 3/3/2003 , Ernest wrote:

              >[Stolzi wrote]
              >> The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the
              >>Emerald City of Oz.
              >
              ><snort> I don't think I'll be able to get _that_ similarity out of my mind
              >now!

              I await the Jackson-defender types who will tell you simply not to think
              about it. ("Branagh's Hamlet is a movie! The Wizard of Oz is ... er, um
              ... another movie!")


              >one thinks of the rumors that the Nazis approached Edward,
              >the Duke of Windsor (or "Mr. Simpson" as my mother acidly called him)

              Unfortunately for that joke, there really was a Mr. Simpson: he was the man
              that Mrs. Simpson was divorcing in order to marry Edward. And just to be
              further irritating, Mr. Simpson's given name was ...


              - DB
            • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
              David Bratman said: I await the Jackson-defender types who will tell you simply not to think about it. ( Branagh s Hamlet is a movie! The Wizard of Oz is ...
              Message 6 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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                David Bratman said: I await the Jackson-defender types who will tell you
                simply not to think
                about it. ("Branagh's Hamlet is a movie! The Wizard of Oz is ... er, um
                ... another movie!") >>

                (Pauses from deleting movie posts for a sec....) That would require caring
                as much about either of them as one cares about Tolkien. Or maybe care
                isn't the word. The power of something to sweep one away is beyond caring.


                Lizzie Triano
                lizziewriter@...
                amor vincit omnia
              • Jason M. Abels
                ... If you want to get into, I can go into quite a bit about Books vs Movies, with the Wizard of Oz as my primary example. Both are movies that deviate
                Message 7 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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                  > (Pauses from deleting movie posts for a sec....) That would require caring
                  > as much about either of them as one cares about Tolkien. Or maybe care
                  > isn't the word. The power of something to sweep one away is beyond caring.

                  If you want to get into, I can go into quite a bit about Books vs Movies, with
                  the Wizard of Oz as my primary example. Both are movies that deviate (sometimes
                  greatly) with the source material, even changing character motivations, and yet
                  remain true (in my opinion) to the overall *feel* of the book.

                  --
                  Jason M. Abels
                  "The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few
                  vampires!" - Ben Mears, _Salem's Lot_
                • David S. Bratman
                  ... (sometimes ... and yet ... Maybe we shouldn t, because the it was all a dream? frame-story of the 1939 Oz film seems to me to be utterly at odds with the
                  Message 8 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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                    At 01:32 PM 3/3/2003 , Jason M. Abels wrote:

                    >If you want to get into, I can go into quite a bit about Books vs Movies, with
                    >the Wizard of Oz as my primary example. Both are movies that deviate
                    (sometimes
                    >greatly) with the source material, even changing character motivations,
                    and yet
                    >remain true (in my opinion) to the overall *feel* of the book.

                    Maybe we shouldn't, because the "it was all a dream?" frame-story of the
                    1939 Oz film seems to me to be utterly at odds with the feel and spirit of
                    the book, casting a pall over the entire proceedings. It's still a great
                    movie, but it won't give you much of an idea of what Baum is like. (Even
                    so, I will defend Jackson's LOTR as pretty good films, which won't give you
                    much of an idea of what Tolkien is like.)

                    - DB
                  • Jason M. Abels
                    ... I black out when she says There s No place like home and I wake up when the credit s start to roll. I remember being *horrified* the first time I saw the
                    Message 9 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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                      > Maybe we shouldn't, because the "it was all a dream?" frame-story of the
                      > 1939 Oz film seems to me to be utterly at odds with the feel and spirit of
                      > the book, casting a pall over the entire proceedings.

                      I black out when she says "There's No place like home" and I wake up when the
                      credit's start to roll.

                      I remember being *horrified* the first time I saw the movie and they said "it
                      was all a dream". I was also horrified at Judy's age, the stupid lion, and
                      everything else they had cut from the book. Over time, though, it has become my
                      favorite movie because I think it still captures something of the original
                      magic.


                      > It's still a great
                      > movie, but it won't give you much of an idea of what Baum is like. (Even
                      > so, I will defend Jackson's LOTR as pretty good films, which won't give you
                      > much of an idea of what Tolkien is like.)

                      My opinion exactly.

                      --
                      Jason M. Abels
                      "The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few
                      vampires!" - Ben Mears, _Salem's Lot_
                    • Ernest Tomlinson
                      ... From: Jason M. Abels To: Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 1:52 PM Subject: RE: [mythsoc] The Two Towers ...
                      Message 10 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Jason M. Abels" <jason@...>
                        To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 1:52 PM
                        Subject: RE: [mythsoc] The Two Towers

                        > I remember being *horrified* the first time I saw the movie and they said
                        "it
                        > was all a dream". I was also horrified at Judy's age, the stupid lion, and
                        > everything else they had cut from the book.

                        Roger Ebert lists _The Wizard of Oz_ among his "Great Movies", and defends
                        the casting of Judy Garland, saying that a child actress--especially, if I
                        may interject, at a time when serious child roles, qq.v. _Night of the
                        Hunter_ and _To Kill a Mockingbird_ among others, were still some years
                        away--would not have had the depth needed for the role of Dorothy. "When
                        she hoped that troubles would melt like lemon drops, you believed she had
                        troubles," writes Ebert. But of course he cites her reading--or singing
                        rather--of a line that is not Baum's.

                        Cheers,

                        Ernest.
                      • jamcconney@aol.com
                        In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:09 PM Central Standard Time, ... Mea Culpa! Mea Maxima Culpa! Anne P.S. Yes, I agree with you about Branagh, especially about
                        Message 11 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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                          In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:09 PM Central Standard Time,
                          thiophene@... writes:

                          > "Dave"?

                          Mea Culpa! Mea Maxima Culpa!

                          Anne

                          P.S. Yes, I agree with you about Branagh, especially about his tendency to
                          get way too cute. And I too loved his Henry V



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • jamcconney@aol.com
                          In a message dated 3/3/2003 1:57:50 PM Central Standard Time, ... I remember reading the suggestion, not entirely unserious, that Titus Andronicus was a
                          Message 12 of 20 , Mar 3, 2003
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                            In a message dated 3/3/2003 1:57:50 PM Central Standard Time,
                            thiophene@... writes:

                            > _Titus
                            > Andronicus_ to a child's violent fantasy

                            I remember reading the suggestion, not entirely unserious, that Titus
                            Andronicus was a collaboration between Marlowe and Shakespeare because it
                            would have taken TWO
                            twenty-something young men to think up all the horrors.

                            Anne


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Jason M. Abels
                            ... Oh, I agree. Once I saw the movie, I knew that judy was right for the role as portrayed. Only she could have belted out those songs like that. I try to
                            Message 13 of 20 , Mar 4, 2003
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                              > Roger Ebert lists _The Wizard of Oz_ among his "Great Movies", and defends
                              > the casting of Judy Garland, saying that a child
                              > actress--especially, if I
                              > may interject, at a time when serious child roles, qq.v. _Night of the
                              > Hunter_ and _To Kill a Mockingbird_ among others, were still some years
                              > away--would not have had the depth needed for the role of Dorothy. "When
                              > she hoped that troubles would melt like lemon drops, you believed she had
                              > troubles," writes Ebert. But of course he cites her reading--or singing
                              > rather--of a line that is not Baum's.

                              Oh, I agree. Once I saw the movie, I knew that judy was right for the role as
                              portrayed. Only she could have belted out those songs like that. I try to
                              picture Shriley Temple in the role and shudder. Judy was the wrong age for
                              book-dorothy. She was just right for movie-dorothy.



                              --
                              Jason M. Abels
                              "The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few
                              vampires!" - Ben Mears, _Salem's Lot_
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