Month: December 2008

Hamlet Act 2

Date: 2003
Posted by: abnormalpapsmear
Credits: Inappropriate Emotion Theatre presents. Music and animation by Greg Wrenn. Some models provided by Eggington Productions
Cast: Greg Wrenn (Hamlet), Philip Michaels (Ghost)
Duration: 3.26

Very enjoyable jokey computer animation, depicting Hamlet’s encounter with the ghost. There is more invention here in three minutes than many films have at thirty times the length. Swooping camera, dynamic low-level tracking shots, striking changes in angle, surprise visual references (the use of a slot machine), grand music and of course the unexpected factor of having the parts played by what the filmmaker calls mutant teddy bears. Yes it’s silly, but all the words are there, and it’s done in a spirit of affectionate fun.

YouTube page
Cheese Wars (website with Hamlet Act 2)

Loves Labours Lost

Date: 2007
Posted by: luizmarcelota
Credits: Filmed by Cabe├ža
Duration: 1.30

If only, they sigh, we could see how Shakespeare’s plays were performed in their time? How wonderful it would be if there had been some form of Elizabethan camcorder which could have recorded the live performance, for the delight of future generations.

Were such an impossible film to turn up, it might look just a little like this. Filmed by a Brazilian tourist at London’s Globe Theatre in September 2007, it shows Dominic Dromgoole’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost filmed from the back of the theatre, through the heads of the people in front. The camera shakes a bit, drifts around, we’re too far away to see who is performing or what they are saying – and there’s only ninety seconds of it anyway.

But if this were all that we had, what treasures we could still derive from it. We would see staging, costuming, scenery, the relation of performer to audience, the behaviour and dress of that audience, even learn from the snatches of conversation heard about such pressing mundanities as cushions to sit on. And how we would struggle to identify the performers and to derive some sense of them from these long-shot glimpses. Indeed, what debates there would be as to what play we were in fact watching, had our Elizabethan filmmaker neglected to include such information. It would keep academic conferences going for years. As it is, it’s a typical short record of a stage performance, of which many exist on YouTube from the Globe alone.

YouTube page