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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
    • Top 5 Edited Scenes in a Terminator movie
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Scenes in a Terminator movie

      August 31, 2011, 12:49 pm
      I can't think of anything more scary than having a robot from the future relentlessly hunt you down because of something you haven't done yet (and didn't even know you were planning to do). Well, maybe I can think of a couple scarier things, but really, robo-Schwarzenegger is pretty high up there!

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    • Top 5 Unknown Underwater Horrors of the Deep
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      Top 5 Unknown Underwater Horrors of the Deep

      August 10, 2011, 2:23 pm
      Being thousands of feet underwater is scary enough without stumbling upon some kind of creature that no one has ever seen before, but when the team does find that "thing" then it's up to the editor to carry not only the story, but the suspense, the action, and the fear.

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    • Top 5 Edited Steve Martin Comedies
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Steve Martin Comedies

      July 27, 2011, 12:08 pm
      Well excUUUUUUUuuuse ME! Steve Martin has been most commonly known to do comedy, and as I've explained before, comedy has everything to do with timing. In film, the editing plays an integral part in that timing.

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    • Top 5 Things to do While the Footage Renders
      EDITING

      Top 5 Things to do While the Footage Renders

      July 6, 2011, 11:53 am
      Rendering is always one of those things that create dead time during a project. This is especially true for the independent freelancer with the last generation of equipment. But there's no reason to let that time go to waste!

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    • Top 5 Pieces in the Original Fantasia
      EDITING

      Top 5 Pieces in the Original Fantasia

      June 22, 2011, 1:44 pm
      As a composer as well as an editor myself, I've always found that there seemed to be a direct correlation to the construction of music to the art of editing. The pictures to the editor are like the notes to the composer. This is exceptionally illustrated with animation. Fantasia is a great example.

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    • Top 5 Edited Tortured Visual Artist Biopics
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Tortured Visual Artist Biopics

      June 8, 2011, 2:54 pm
      I've heard many times from many a wise person that the greatest artists were also the most insane or tortured. Looking at history, this is arguably true. Unfortunately for them, of course, it's a rough life, but their ghosts can take solace in the fact that their work has moved many generations beyond them. Their lives make great stories, too.

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    • Top 5 Edited Superman Movies
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Superman Movies

      May 25, 2011, 2:05 pm
      Superman has long been the quintessential American superhero, and has been manifested in popular culture in a plethora of ways since his creation in the 1930s. My favourite moving renditions of him have to be the Fleischer cartoon series from the WWII era, but he really exploded into unprecedented iconic stature in 1978 when Hollywood came out with <i>Superman</i> and <i>Superman II</i>. I know that I certainly almost always think of Christopher Reeve the second someone mentions the name Superman.

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    • Top 5 Edited Musical Sequences in Grease
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Musical Sequences in Grease

      May 11, 2011, 12:33 pm
      One of the musical-turned-movies that has always been close to my heart is Grease— I remember growing up and watching that movie, learning all the words to the songs (which I can still sing along to), and thinking that the social dynamic in high school would basically be like that. Well, I learned that that last point wasn’t actually the case in the real world, but at least I can nail every song at a karaoke bar.

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    • Top 5 Edited Mockumentaries featuring Christopher
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Mockumentaries featuring Christopher

      April 20, 2011, 2:09 pm
      Christopher Guest and his crew of equally talented and funny friends managed to create a particular standard for a genre of film, which is difficult to pull off if you don’t know what you’re doing. I myself come into editing with a documentary background, and as anyone who does documentary knows, in some situations it can be hard to keep continuity when events are unfolding in front of the camera before the operator has time to plan. This is where the "mockumentary" has its advantages (being able to consciously fill the holes) and disadvantages (filling those holes make it less of a documentary and more of a drama). To make it still have a raw documentary feel the editor needs to have a keen understanding of the subtleties that will fake it realistically.

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    • Top 5 Musical Scenes in True Stories
      EDITING

      Top 5 Musical Scenes in True Stories

      April 6, 2011, 11:38 am
      Different genres call for different editing techniques, but sometimes movies don’t really fit any particular kind of genre and as an editor, you just kinda have to go with it. <i>True Stories</i> is one of those movies— it’s borderline comedy and musical, but it’s mostly an entertaining commentary with music. Because it’s done so well, it’s made its way to my personal top 5 movies— and while it is obviously somewhat low budget, technically speaking, the editing ultimately helps to keep it entertaining and progress the story.

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