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  • Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations

    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations

    February 10, 2010, 8:33 am
    Really, any play written for theatre is extremely hard to translate to film and make it filmic. This is especially true for particularly wordy plays, such as anything written by Shakespeare. The number one rule "show not tell" has to be creatively re-thought to make it work in order to translate to screen, and to do that is more easily said than done.



    Criteria:
    -Original text must be (mostly) kept in tact
    -Editing brings something unique/new/particularly "film" to the play
    -Usual rules of montage, continuity, etc.
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    5. As You Like It (2006)

    At first this film makes the viewer go "eh?" (and not just Canadians...). The cast is multicultural and it takes place in Japan, adding a Japanese cultural twist to the play. Consequently the movie is beautiful to look at and easy to watch, as well as well acted and cut. I especially liked the sumo wrestling scene, because it had a particularly well thought out montage: tense, interesting, and overall cool.
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    4. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

    This is the epitome of modernizing Shakespeare, and the editing has a lot to do with how they managed to pull it off. It intercuts guerrilla-style news clips, making it clear to the viewer that the city of Verona is inadvertently intertwined in the conflict between two families (companies?). When a Capulet sneezes, it’s more newsworthy than a war overseas. The overall editing style is fast-paced, choppy, and has no problems using cheesy transitions such as box wipes. It’s effective in making the movie very stylized and interesting to watch, but ultimately it hits the viewer over the head and actually gets a bit tiring. That said, it takes the play to a completely different level than Shakespeare could’ve imagined. Makes me wonder what he’d think about it...
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    3. Richard III (1995)

    This film’s editing is so well thought out that it sucks you into the story, and makes it easy to understand, follow, and watch. It has an almost "call and answer" style of editing, where one angle is perfectly followed up by an opposite angle, and conceptually it makes sense in the viewer’s head. Bonus points for Sir Ian breaking the 3rd wall and making his monologues have more of an audience interaction than the typical talking to oneself. This helps it stay true to the original point of a monologue in a play rather than just representing the monologue on film.
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    2. Hamlet (1996)

    When I started watching the film, my notes consisted of "too rushed" and "weird montage/cut— my eye is going all over the place." It seemed as if the editing was trying too hard to be purely illustrative and showcase the acting more than tell the story, but I found myself ensconced and thinking "wow I could learn something from this edit" about 15 minutes in. Suddenly my notes took a different turn and I realized what an interesting way to tell Hamlet this is. Brian Blessed is terrifying the first time Hamlet meets his ghost, and this is largely in part due to the heavy cutting and particular way in which the montage was pieced together leading up to his reveal. It was at that point that I realized that I could forgive the "too rushed" feel that I originally had— aside from the fact that the epic film is 4 hours long, even rushed.
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    1. Titus (1999)

    I still don’t totally get the kid throughout the film, but I do understand that the montage was so beautiful to watch that it was hypnotic. It was hard to pull away and take notes. Every movement makes sense and leads to the next movement as if it was supposed to be there. On top of that, it could jump from ancient to modern art direction and still carry the story. It’s obvious what drives this film— the edit and the art direction take precedence over the text, and makes it a successful film adaptation.

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  • Other Postings By Member
    • Light Sabre Battles! (v)
      EDITING

      Light Sabre Battles! (v)

      January 18, 2012, 3:00 pm
      As an interesting note, it was conveniently blocked by FOX just as the internet is on blackout strike today in solidarity against SOPA. American friends, please be aware that if SOPA passes, videos like this where I attempt to teach about film editing in a fun way will not be available anymore, even if I am in compliance with the Fair Use clause— in fact, I could be shut down, fined, and/or jailed without due process. If you like the internet and the ability to find information freely and easily, please educate yourself about this bill, and do whatever you can to stop it from passing!

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    • Top 5 Marx Brothers Films
      EDITING

      Top 5 Marx Brothers Films

      January 4, 2012, 1:19 pm
      First EDL of the new year up! Marx brothers, see? nyaah!

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    • Top 5 Moment of Despair Scenes in a Xmas film (v)
      EDITING

      Top 5 Moment of Despair Scenes in a Xmas film (v)

      December 14, 2011, 4:44 pm
      Have a video version of my very first Christmas blog, the best edited Moments of Despair in a Christmas film!

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    • Top 5 Scenes With a Steam Engine
      EDITING

      Top 5 Scenes With a Steam Engine

      November 30, 2011, 11:29 am
      Check out this week's EDL, featuring the top 5 edited scenes with steam engines!

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    • Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attack Scenes!
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attack Scenes!

      November 16, 2011, 1:28 pm
      I know I've covered this one in the past, but with the new video format I feel like I can really do some of previous written blogs justice. This one especially!

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    • Top 5 Scenes on a Mountaintop
      EDITING

      Top 5 Scenes on a Mountaintop

      November 3, 2011, 1:54 pm
      Vlog number 3! Scenes on a mountain. See my epic climbing skills (not)...

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    • Top five scenes in a Mad Max film!
      EDITING

      Top five scenes in a Mad Max film!

      October 19, 2011, 1:19 pm
      In Vlog number 2 of the Edit Decision List, I look at the best edited scenes in a Mad Max Movie, as well as manage to completely butcher an Australian accent.

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    • Top 5 Edited Die Hard Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Die Hard Scenes

      October 5, 2011, 12:07 pm
      My very first vlog covers the top 5 scenes in a Die Hard movie!

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    • Top 5 edited scenes in Metropolis
      EDITING

      Top 5 edited scenes in Metropolis

      September 21, 2011, 4:25 pm
      Metropolis is one of the most influential science fiction films of all time, and it's obvious that the editing has a lot to do with it. The expressive nature of the acting is superbly juxtaposed with epically framed shots in such a way that story isn't only easy to follow, but really fun to watch!

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    • Top 5 Back to the Future Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Back to the Future Scenes

      September 7, 2011, 12:16 pm
      Great scott! I must've blown a hole in the space-time continuum with my 1.21 "Jiggawatt" blog entry…

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