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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: September 2019

Chapter 2 - Lear’s Fool on Film: Peter Brook, Grigori Kozintsev, Akira Kurosawa

from Part I - Surviving Lear: Revisiting the Canon


The chapter studies three remarkable films of King Lear created in England, Russia and Japan by three directors of international stature: Peter Brook, Grigori Kozintsev and Akira Kurosawa. The films are all set in the past and all are culturally specific. Because the Fool’s role is so central to the substance and structure of Shakespeare’s play, investigating – using a mixture of thick description, cultural appropriation and cinematic formalism – how these three directors reimaged the Fool to speak out from their particular cultures to a global audience provides insight into the ways each reinvents Shakespeare’s bleakest tragedy for the screen.