Monday, April 13, 2009

SHK--essay assignment--movie review

For this assignment, write a paper of approximately 800-1000 words in length (approximately 3 pages) based on the following prompt. Papers are due Tuesday April 21, both hard copy and to

Watch a movie interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s plays and write a review. Identify and evaluate the choices the director and actors made in order to bring the text to life. Was the setting changed from the renaissance to another historical period? Did the change add to the effectiveness of the presentation? Did the actors give strong interpretations of the characters? If this is a play you have not read or seen before, what were the most dramatically compelling parts of the story? Which characters have the strongest personalities? If you watched a movie of a play you already know, how successful were the performances in communicating what is essential about the play? What were the most or least effective choices made by the director and actors?

Avoid movies which are loose adaptations of Shakespeare’s stories (O, Ten Things I Hate About You, etc) done in modern language. Choose a film which contains the original language and story.

Suggestions (N.B. the PCDS library has over a dozen Shakespeare films, and I have several as well.)
Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet
Michael Hoffman’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V
Laurence Olivier’s Henry V
Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet
Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet
Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet
Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night
Richard Loncraine’s Richard III
Laurence Olivier as Richard III
Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing
Roman Polanski’s Macbeth
Ian McKellen as Macbeth
Ethan Hawke as Hamlet
Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet
Al Pacino as Shylock in Merchant of Venice
Al Pacino as Richard III in Looking for Richard

(Simply identify in the text of your essay which film you are referencing and you will not need a works cited page for this assignment, since the text of your essay will contain only your own thoughts about the movie.)