British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Shakespeare roundup

Roland Emmerich’s controversial new film Anonymous is released in UK cinemas this Friday (28 October)  and it explores some of the theories that question whether Shakespeare did, or did not, in fact author the plays that we now ascribe to him. The film’s official website includes an amusing quiz to determine one’s level of knowledge about the Bard and his work, and can be accessed here:

Coincidentally, a number of Shakespeare-related releases have recently made their appearance on home video of late and are listed, as is Anonymous, in the BUFVC Shakespeare database, accessible to all at:

New home video Shakespeare highlights include:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968)
This 1968 version was directed by Peter Hall and stars Judi Dench, David Warner and Ian Holm and is now available in widescreen as part of the MGM Limited Edition collection from Screen Archives.

Macbeth (2010)
Illuminations have released Rupert Goold’s film version of Macbeth starring Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood as the murderous husband and wife on DVD and Blu-Ray editions with extras that include an audio commentary and an hour of interviews with the director and cast. For more see the Illuminations website:

Mr Bongo Films has just released DVDs of the two major Shakespeare production made in the (then) USSR by renowned director Grigori Kozintsev featuring translations of the text by Boris Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago, and the music of Dmitri Shostakovich.

Gamlet (1964)
This sombre and stark version of Hamlet is widely considered one of the finest of film transpositions of the play.

Korol Lir (1971)
With its emphasis on religious suppression, this adaptation of King Lear, once again filmed in black and white and in the panoramic cinemascope ratio, makes for a powerful and epic telling of the celebrated play.

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