Clemson Shakespeare Festival V Film Festival
One of the subjects of the fifth annual Clemson Shakespeare Festival was the adaptation of Shakespearean drama into other languages and cultures as well as other media. We chose the following four selections for our festival because each is a stand-alone film of the highest caliber, and each is each directed from a distinctly different cultural perspective. Four of the greatest filmmakers of all times were represented in the lineup: Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Roman Polanski, and Franco Zeffirelli. Many of our favorite actors played coveted Shakespearean roles: Orson Welles as Macbeth, Jeanette Nolan, as Lady Macbeth, Mel Gibson as Hamlet, Glen Close as Gertrude, Alan Bates as Claudius, and Paul Scofield as the ghost of Hamlet's father. And finally, we got Shakespeare filtered through an American, Italian, Polish, Australian, and Japanese perspectives, truly "Global Shakespeare," or as we affectionately called the Bard, "Shakesphere."
Orson Welles' Macbeth
Monday, March 4, 8:00 p.m.
One of Orson Welles' film masterpieces starring Orson Welles as Macbeth with an outstanding supporting cast including Jeanette Nolan as Lady Macbeth and Roddy McDowell as Malcolm. this was the original uncut, fully restored version of Welles' innovative and controversial masterpiece. Shakespeare's classic was fully adapted in a film that was, and still is, considered to be one of the greatest experimental films ever made under the Hollywood studio system.
Tuesday, March 5, 1996, 8:00pm: Film, Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet starring Mel Gibson, Brooks Center Recital Hall, 117
Mel Gibson took on his maddest part to date, the title role in a dynamic new version of the second greatest play ever written. The film wass directed by Franco Zeffirelli whose Romeo and Juliet is considered to be one of the finest adaptations of Shakespeare ever filmed. The location-shot production has a sumptuous look that won Academy Award nominations for Art Direction and Costume Design. Alan Bates played Claudius, Glen Close, Gertrude, and Paul Scofield, the ghost of Hamlet's father.
Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood
Wednesday, March 6, 1996, 8:00 p.m.
Akira Kurosawa's savage, free-flowing adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth plunged viewers into an eerie, fog-shrouded world of madness and obsession. Set in medieval Japan during a period of feudal conflict, Kurosawa's masterpiece combined the stylization of the Noh theater with the dynamic energy of the American Western to tell the tragic story of an ambitious warlord.
Roman Polanski's Macbeth
Thursday, March 7, 8:00 p.m.
Roman Polanski's brutal, sexy film version of Macbeth continues to puzzle viewers and critics alike, particularly in the wake of Sharon Tate's murder by a power-mad Charles Manson who also blamed three women for his dirty work. The film operated in the tradition of the "Theatre of Cruelty" as it presented a collage of bleak landscapes and underscores the eerily contemporary themes of cynicism, political assassination and terrorism.
All events took place in the Brooks Center unless otherwise noted.