New Wave Shakespeare on Screen
January 2007, Polity
Drawing on developments in Shakespeare studies, performance studies, and media studies, the book integrates text-based and screen-based approaches in ways that will be accessible to teachers and students, as well as scholars. The study maps a critical vocabulary for interpreting Shakespeare film; addresses script-to-screen questions about authority and performativity; outlines varied approaches to adaptation such as revival, recycling, allusion, and sampling; parses sound as well as visual effects; and explores the cross-pollination between film and other media, from ancient to cutting-edge. New Wave Shakespeare on Screen emphasizes how rich the payoffs can be when Shakespeareans turn their attention to film adaptations as texts: aesthetically complex, historically situated, and as demanding in their own right as the playtexts they renovate.
Works discussed include pop culture films like Billy Morrisette’s Scotland, PA; televised updatings like the ITV Othello; and art-house films such as Julie Taymor’s Titus, Al Pacino’s Looking for Richard, Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet, and Kristian Levering’s The King is Alive. These films reframe the playtexts according to a variety of extra-Shakespearean interests, inviting viewers back to them in fresh ways.
List of Illustrations.
Introduction: New Wave Shakespeare on and off Screen.
Chapter 1: Beyond Branagh and the BBC.
Chapter 2: Adaptation as a Cultural Process.
conceptual and critical resources • revival • recycling.
Chapter 3: Hamlet Rewound.
anachronism • tradition and “modernity” • remediation and memory • new media • underground cinema.
Chapter 4: Colliding Time and Space in Julie Taymor’s Titus.
allusion • interpolation • citational environments • conceptual art • ghosting • surrogation.
new media • expressionist film.
Chapter 5: Vernacular Shakespeare.
parody, burlesque, and masquerade,• docudrama • popular culture sound • riffing • sampling.
Chapter 6: Channeling Othello.
televisuality • surrogation • character function and effect • voiceover • race and performance.
Chapter 7: Surviving Shakespeare: Kristian Levring’s The King is Alive.
documentary and experimental film • voiceover • cultural memory • character function and effect • subtitles • substitution and translation.
Films, Videos, DVDs, Television Cited.
Katherine Rowe is Professor of English at Bryn Mawr.
- An innovative introductory textbook to adaptations of
Shakespeare on screen, written by two highly experienced and well
respected US academics.
- Fills a gap in the market by concentrating mainly on the
‘new wave’ of Shakespeare adaptations – such as
those by Baz Luhrmann, Peter Greenaway – which are widely
taught but have been under-studied in textbooks to date.
- Introduces students to the new vocabulary – taken from
film theory and digital media studies – needed to engage with
these ground breaking adaptations.
- Traces the relationship of the new wave of adaptations to the
more classic Shakespeare films of Branagh and co.
- A highly trendy, cutting edge book which is very adoptable.
James Shapiro, Columbia University, author of 1599:
A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
"In case anyone thought the tide was ebbing on Shakespeare and
film, here are Cartelli and Rowe riding the ‘new wave’
like pro surfers. As brilliant as film analysts as in their
understanding of Shakespeare and his current cultural contexts,
they are expert guides to a fascinating range of film adaptations
and to subtle and provocative ways of thinking about the motive to
adapt Shakespeare, about the strategies these films use, and about
the theoretical models we can use to understand them. I learned
much from every chapter – and so will my students as they
engage in my courses with all that this book so clearly and
helpfully encourages them to consider."
Peter Holland, University of Notre Dame
"Though now well established as an important branch of
Shakespeare research and instruction, the study of Shakespeare on
film has to keep moving to keep abreast of technological change,
fresh talent and new audiences. By focusing on work that is
contemporary, innovative and experimental, Cartelli and Rowe shift
the paradigms of Shakespeare on film, and facilitate new
interactions between critical, cultural, textual and media
Graham Holderness, University of Hertfordshire, author of Visual Shakespeare