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This chapter explores Zeffirelli’s three Shakespearean films, The Taming of the Shrew (1967), Romeo and Juliet (1968) and Hamlet (1990), well known for the visual banquets they constitute, the memorable soundscapes they feature and their stimulating casting choices. The purpose of this chapter is to suggest that, as designer and director, Zeffirelli has managed to combine movement and fixity, so that these films can be regarded as living monuments. Far from being mere visual decoration, the designs that are at the heart of Zeffirelli’s films are infused with life and reinvigorate the vision of the plays. Analysing ‘household stuff’ coming to life in The Taming of the Shrew, the battle of energies in Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet’s labyrinth of fury, the chapter shows how the architecture and design of the films make them monuments. There is a lot of art in this matter. There is a lot of life in these monuments.
The introduction offers an overview of the various destinies of King Lear on screen, providing a reflection on the filmic objects themselves but also, through a review of the state of the art, on the ways they have been received by academia. The introduction justifies the organization of the volume in four sections (Surviving Lear; Lear en Abyme; The Genres of Lear; Lear on the Loose), contextualizing the subsequent chapters and precisely pointing to their original contributions in the field. The concept of ‘dislocation’ is used to explore the ways in which the Lear films have worked on crisis, vagrancy, geographical displacement, migration (both in their following of the characters’ wanderings but also in their placing the play in other cultural environments) and on fragmentation (with dramatic motifs being dismantled and appropriated in ‘free’ adaptations). By revisiting ‘canonical’ versions, translations and free retellings in the Anglophone zones but also those beyond the US/UK axis, as well as ‘mirror’ metanarrative films, their genres and receptions through time, the introduction announces chapters that take part in the ceaseless investigation of what King Lear means and the way its ‘Learness’ continues to circulate and inform our contemporary cultures and especially to mirror the predicaments of today’s ‘unaccommodated’ men and women.
The third volume in the re-launched series Shakespeare on Screen is devoted to film versions and adaptations of King Lear. Bringing together an international group of scholars, the chapters provide new insights and perspectives on what constitutes 'Learness' in a range of films, TV productions, translations, free retellings and appropriations from around the world. Taking 'screen' in its broader sense, it also covers digital material such as video archives, internet movies and YouTube videos. The volume features an invaluable film-bibliography and accompanying online resources include additional essays and an expanded version of the film-bibliography.
The second volume in the re-launched series Shakespeare on Screen is devoted to The Tempest and Shakespeare's late romances, offering up-to-date coverage of recent screen versions as well as new critical reviews of older, canonical films. An international cast of authors explores not only productions from the USA and the UK, but also translations, adaptations and appropriations from Poland, Italy and France. Spanning a wide chronological range, from the first cinematic interpretation of Cymbeline in 1913 to The Royal Ballet's live broadcast of The Winter's Tale in 2014, the volume provides an extensive treatment of the plays' resonance for contemporary audiences. Supported by a film-bibliography, numerous illustrations and free online resources, the book will be an invaluable resource for students, scholars and teachers of film studies and Shakespeare studies.