Month: January 2010

Oberon v Titania

Date: 2009
Posted by: chrisnatti
Cast: Borts Minorts (Oberon), Ball Ball Minorts (Titania), Bonestein (Titania fairy dancer), Skin Jones (Oberon fairy dancer)
Credits: A Chris Carlone Creation
Duration: 3.03

Now here’s something to stop you in your tracks. Borts Minorts is a New York performance artist/dancer/musician, real name Chris Carlone, who with his like-minded cohorts combines performance art with avant garde music, pantomime and off-the-wall dance to create an exuberant brew of pure artistic energy. Add Shakespeare into the mix and the results are compelling.

And so we have Oberon v Titania, an open-air assault on Shakespeare’s characters with wild dancing amid the trees, done to the accompaniment of a mad mix of tortured guitar and trombone, and intercut with a concert of the same song (there are words, largely indecipherable). Borts Minorts himself is Oberon, dressed in the white ski suit that is his customary costume. Ball Ball Minorts (his sister, apparently) plays Titania. The how and why of it are a little difficult to determine, but it is pure Dada.

YouTube page
HD YouTube version
Bort Minorts’ MySpace


Date: 2003
Posted by: Scott Rogers
Cast: Paul Ramey (Hamlet), Dave Nilsen (Claudius/Ghost), Rhonda Allen (Gertrude), Katerina Tamburro (Horatio), Anna Meade (Ophelia), Darrell Newcomb (Laertes), Charles Lemons (Polonius), Luke Holladay (Fortinbras), Neil Mulac (The Captain), Jason Potts (Guildenstern), Donavon Shain (Rosencrantz), Rick Marquardt (Sourdough Perkins)
Credits: A Natural Light/Panopticon Production. Executive producer Roger C. Adams, produced by Roger C. Adams, Patrick Points, Jennifer Bowman, Scott Rogers, original music by Tom Staples, Paul Ramey, additional music by Rick Marquardt, sound editing and design by Randy Chance, cinematography by Bill Green and Scott Rogers, written, directed and edited by Scott Rogers
Duration: 30.00

This is very good. It’s a 2003 American production, made probably for local consumption or a film competition in the pre-online video sites era, and uploaded five years later in hopes of finding a wider audience. It certainly deserves to find one. It’s a deconstruction and reconstruction of Hamlet, set in modern times, mostly within Claudius’ claustrophobic house. Although ‘amateur’ in production, it is shot and edited with real style, employing some choices of camera angle to match the often witty take on the Hamlet story. Using modern-day speech, some of the eye-catching variations played on Shakespeare include a banjo player instead of the players, a female Horatio, the asphyxiation of the drunken Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Ophelia slitting her veins in a bath (the film has something of an excess of blood). Best of all are a slacker Fortinbras and friend whose comic exchanges neatly frame the film (the droll beginning and end of the film are particularly good). Performances otherwise are adequate to the purpose. The action scenes don’t work so well, and one has to admit that the film itself has nothing to say, but its invention and attention to detail mark it out as some special. Well worth thirty minutes of any Shakespearean’s time.

Vimeo page
Trailer for Hamlet
Brian Scott Rogers’ personal site

Miranda make-up

Date: 2009
Posted by: aliabombalia
Cast: AliaBombalia (Miranda)
Credits: Made by AliaBombalia
Duration: 5.28

‘How to’ videos offering make-up advice and beauty tips are a major genre within YouTube, so it’s probably inevitable that one relating to Shakespeare should turn up. Here AliaBaombalia provides tips with practical illustration on preparing to look like Miranda (as she was preparing to do for a drama class). Miranda, we learn, needs to be “very neutral, very sheer” with “flawless skin”, and being aged 15 is “really cutesy, a little bit ditzy too”. For the look she adopts Avon personal match foundation in ivory, MAC select sheer powder in NC15, Boi-Ing concealer in 01, Urban Decay Primer Potion, various colours from the W7 pallette, Great Lash black mascara by Maybelline, and Rimmel Sweet Jelly in Moreish (10). But no eyeliner – she’s grown up on an island, and they wouldn’t have coal pencils there.

YouTube page

Sonnet 12

Date: 2006
Posted by: siblmp
Cast: none
Credits: made by Michael Sibley
Duration: 2.27

Such a simple concept. The words of an abbreviated version of Sonnet 12 (“When I do count the clock that tells the time”) have been filmed apparently floating slowly past on the River Avon (it’s hard to tell given the low image resolution, but some trickery is involved since the words then float backwards). The reflected clouds add reflective depth, while the drifting words suggest poetic reverie. It’s just a shame about the naff fretless bass on the music track.

YouTube page
Michael Sibley’s personal site

William Shakespeare Sonnet 30

Date: 2007
Posted by: ChrisDavey83
Cast: none
Credits: made by Chris Davey

A hypnotic interpretation of Sonnet 30 (“When to the sessions of sweet silent thought”), produced by a graphic design student set the task of creating a TV ident for a BBC series (presumably an academic exercise rather than one that was actually used by the BBC). Words drift in and out, laterally and vertically, overlaid upon themselves, artfully playing with fonts and layout, a typographer’s reverie. It’s a satisfying visual reading that demonstrates what power words have alone to catch the eye.

YouTube page
Chris Davy on MySpace

Shakespeare Sonnet 81

Date: 2008
Posted by: froj2002
Cast: none
Credits: Made by froj2002
Duration: 1.36

How many ways do we have to approaching the task of translating Shakespeare into moving images? Ways without number, I hope. So we introduce a new category to BardBox with Typography, which filmmakers visualise the words themselves. Here we have a creative expression of sonnet 81, “Or I shall live your epitaph to make”. The words are expressed at readable pace through a mixture of hard-made by, text placed over objects (the word ‘epitaph’ on a gravestone) and text created out of natural objects (writing on a steamy mirror). Overlaid by a breathy music track with delicate piano and deft timing (note the lingering of the final word “men”), the result is hynoptic and, yes, poetic. Certainly it’s a method that encourages us literally to see the text, and it’s a means of creating expressive Shakespeare content that anyone with the passion to do so can do cheaply, easily, and without players.

YouTube page