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Celluloid Shakespeare cancelled

ENGL 235.302
instructor(s):
MW 3-4:30 Screenings R 4-6:00

This course examines Shakespearean play texts with films based (and more often than not, loosely based) on those texts. Rather than advancing claims about how "true" a rendition any one of these films presents, this course asks two central questions. To what end do these films borrow from, tamper with, or perpetrate the cultural authority of Shakespeare? How do particular interests -- technical, national, economic -- stage and shape the seeming universality of these Shakespearean performance narratives? These questions are designed to challenge our assumptions, if only temporarily, about the unified integrity of original source texts, and to encourage us instead to imagine these texts as parts of a many-headed Shakespearean monster. Our readings and viewings will be grouped according to the following section headings: Epic History and the Hollywood "star system," "On the Road" by William Shakespeare, The Globe in Global Cinema, Affects and F/X. Plays will include Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Henry V, The Tempest, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Richard III, Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure. Films will include Shakespeare in Love, Chimes at Midnight, My Own Private Idaho, To Be Or Not To Be, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Ran, Forbidden Planet, Prospero's Books, and Kiss me Kate. In addition to academic essays, written requirements for the course will include fortnightly movie reviews, and a short screenwriting assignment.