AFI Preview April 18-July 2 - page 4-5

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Shakespeare Cinema, Part I
April 25–June 29
Newly Restored DCP!
Sun, Apr 27, 4:00
With a preamble asserting, “The history of the world, like
letters without poetry, flowers without perfume, or thought
without imagination, would be a dry matter indeed without
its legends,” Laurence Olivier digs into serving up the
legend of the most evil king in English history, as imagined
by Shakespeare, from “the winter of our discontent” to “my
kingdom for a horse!” Though unsuccessful upon its initial
1955 theatrical release, the film enjoyed a landmark U.S.
television broadcast that same year (given the multi-million-
member TV audience, the BFI has claimed that it "may have
done more to popularize Shakespeare than any other single
work"), and was a hit upon theatrical re-release a decade
later, while its critical reputation has only grown with time.
With Ralph Richardson, Cedric Hardwicke, John Gielgud,
Claire Bloom and Stanley Baker.
DIR/SCR/PROD Laurence Olivier; SCR from
the plays “Richard III” and “Henry VI: Part III” by William Shakespeare; PROD Alexander Korda.
UK, 1955, color, 161 min. NOT RATED
Sun, May 4, 8:45
Franco Zeffirelli’s lush, romantic and wildly popular ‘60s
adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” at the time the most
successful Shakespeare screen adaptation, struck a chord
with youth audiences around the world, breaking with stage
tradition to cast younger actors (newcomers Olivia Hussey
and Leonard Whiting) closer to the star-crossed lovers’
actual ages. Nominated for four Oscars, with wins for Best
Cinematography and Costume Design. The narration is by
an uncredited Laurence Olivier.
DIR/SCR Franco Zeffirelli; SCR Franco Brusati,
Masolino D’Amico, from the play “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare; PROD Jon
Brabourne, Anthony Havelock-Allan. UK/Italy, 1968, color, 138 min. RATED PG
Newly Restored DCP!
Sat, Jun 7, 7:30
Orson Welles' unique and inventive take on Shakespeare's
Falstaff cribs from the handful of plays in which the beloved
character appears to create a single work with Falstaff as the
star, played by Welles with great comic brio and perhaps
autobiographical pathos. The cast includes French icon
Jeanne Moreau as Doll Tearsheet, Sir John Gielgud as the
vexed King Henry IV and local Shakespeare Theatre regular
Keith Baxter as Prince Hal.
DIR/SCR Orson Welles, from plays by William
Shakespeare; PROD Ángel Escolano, Emiliano Piedra, Harry Saltzman. France/Spain/
Switzerland, 1965, b&w, 115 min. NOT RATED
Print courtesy of Filmoteca Española
Followed by:
Sat, Jun 7, 10:00; Sun, Jun 8, 9:45; Thu, Jun 12, 9:15
Gus Van Sant
audaciously transposes
Shakespeare's “Henry
IV” into a male hustler's
demi-monde in Portland,
Oregon. River Phoenix
gives a heartbreaking
performance as a
in fact—gay prostitute
in love with rich kid
Keanu Reeves: a naive and penniless Ned Poins to Reeves'
calculatedly slumming Prince Hal. Cult star William Richert
impresses as "Bob Pigeon," the boys' bad-influence Falstaff
figure. Comically trashy and achingly poignant, Van Sant's
vision remains true to the larger themes of the source material.
"[A] decade-defining punk of a movie."—Michael Atkinson,
The Village Voice.
DIR/SCR Gus Van Sant, from “Henry IV” by William Shakespeare;
PROD Laurie Parker. US, 1991, color, 102 min. RATED R
OTHELLO (1995)
Fri, Jun 13, 7:20
Laurence Fishburne wows as the Moor of Venice in Oliver
Parker’s 1995 screen adaptation of “Othello,” the first major
motion picture to cast an actor of actual African descent in the
role, breaking with the blackface tradition of the stage and
previous films starring Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier in
the part. With Kenneth Branagh as the jealous, deceiving
Iago, who summons the “the green-eyed monster” that undoes
Othello, and Irène Jacob as the wronged Desdemona.
Oliver Parker; SCR from the play “Othello” by William Shakespeare; PROD David Barron. US/
UK, 1995, color, 123 min. RATED R
Wed, Jun 18, 7:15
A clever
transposition of
“Othello” to a
high school in the
American South:
Odin (Mekhi Phifer)
is the only black
student at the elite
Palmetto Grove
private school. The
star player on the
school’s basketball
team, Odin, or “O,” is hugely popular among his classmates,
and is dating the beautiful Desi (Julia Stiles), the daughter of
the school’s dean (John Heard). But O’s talent, popularity and
bright future cause his best friend and teammate Hugo (Josh
Hartnett), the son of their coach (Martin Sheen), to become
consumed with jealousy. Secretly starting rumors around
school and orchestrating schemes, Hugo causes O to lose
faith in Desi and his own sense of self, shattering his world
and setting disastrous events in motion.
DIR Tim Blake Nelson; SCR Brad
Kaaya, from the play “Othello” by William Shakespeare; PROD Eric Gitter, Daniel Fried, Anthony
Rhulen. US, 2001, color, 95 min. RATED R
Sat, Jun 28, 7:00
Peter Hall directed
this visually
inventive Royal
production, which
boasts a hugely
impressive cast:
Judi Dench as
Titania, Diana
Rigg as Helena,
Helen Mirren as Hermia, Ian Richardson as Oberon, David
Warner as Lysander, Barbara Jefford as Hippolyta and Ian
Holm as Puck.
DIR Peter Hall; SCR from the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by
William Shakespeare; PROD Michael Birkett. UK, 1968, color, 124 min. NOT RATED
Sun, Jun 29, 1:00
Trevor Nunn’s
acclaimed, minimalist,
production of
“Macbeth” from 1976
was documented
as a filmed play for
television, with a limited
theatrical release.
Ian McKellen stars as
Macbeth, the Thane of
Cawdor, prophesied
by the three witches
to become the next
King of Scotland. Judi
Dench is riveting as
Lady Macbeth, undone
by her murderous
DIR Philip Casson; SCR/PROD Trevor Nunn, from the play “Macbeth” by William
Shakespeare. UK, 1979, color, 142 min. NOT RATED
HENRY V (1944)
Fri, Apr 25, 7:15
Or, if you prefer, “The Chronicle History of King Henry the
Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France.” Laurence
Olivier’s directorial debut—on top of starring and producing—
was filmed and released near the end of WWII, and played
as a patriotic spirit-raiser to wartime British audiences. Famous
for its progression from a stagebound Globe Theatre setting
in Act I through ever more realistic and opened-up settings,
culminating in location photography and use of a large
cavalry for the climactic battle scenes. Released in the US in
1946, it was awarded an honorary Oscar, citing Olivier’s
“outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director in
bringing ‘Henry V’ to the screen.”
DIR/PROD Laurence Olivier; SCR from the
play “Henry V” by William Shakespeare. UK, 1944, color, 137 min. NOT RATED
HAMLET (1948)
Sat, Apr 26, 4:30
Among the many notable screen versions of “Hamlet,”
Laurence Olivier's sets a particularly high standard, its
shadowy black-and-white cinematography and probing
psychology playing like “Shakespeare Noir.” Look for
Hammer Films icons Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in two
of their earliest roles, and a young Jean Simmons as Ophelia.
Seven Oscar nominations and four wins, including Best Picture
and Best Actor for Olivier.
DIR/SCR Laurence Olivier; SCR William Shakespeare.
UK, 1948, b&w, 155 min. NOT RATED
25th Anniversary!
HENRY V (1989)
Sat, May 10, 4:45; Thu, May 15, 6:45
Kenneth Branagh rocketed to international stardom with this
winning screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s rousing “Henry
V,” for Branagh, as it was with Olivier, his feature directorial
debut. The wonderful cast includes Branagh as the newly
crowned king, who must rally the English troops with his St.
Crispin’s Day speech; plus Ian Holm (Fluellen), Judi Dench
(Mistress Quickly), Robbie Coltrane (Falstaff), Paul Scofield
(Charles VI), Brian Blessed (Exeter) and Emma Thompson
(Katherine). Narrated by Derek Jacobi.
DIR/SCR Kenneth Branagh; SCR
from the play “Henry V” by William Shakespeare; PROD Bruce Sharman. UK, 1989, color,
137 min. RATED PG-13
Mon, May 12, 9:20; Wed, May 14, 9:45; Thu, May 15, 9:30
Akira Kurosawa's adaptation of “Macbeth” finds Toshirô
Mifune in feudal Japan as a victorious warlord who becomes
obsessed with and ultimately enslaved by his quest for power.
When he becomes lost in a labyrinthine forest, Mifune
encounters an old woman who prophesies that he will ascend
to the throne. But when his calculating wife cajoles him into
taking the throne by force, a series of bloody events, and
unexpected twists, ensues.
DIR/SCR/PROD Akira Kurosawa; SCR Shinobu
Hashimoto, Ryûzô Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, from “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare; PROD
Sôjirô Motoki. Japan, 1957, b&w, 110 min. In Japanese with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Tue, May 20, 6:45; Mon, May 26, 4:00
Sharks! Jets! Ten Oscar wins, including Best Picture, for the
dazzling screen adaptation of Broadway's "Romeo and
Juliet"-inspired musical smash, a tale of forbidden love starring
Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. Unforgettable for the
brilliant Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim score (with
songs including "Maria," "Tonight," "Jet Song" and "America")
and Jerome Robbins' vibrant choreography, featuring the
Oscar-winning footwork of George Chakiris and Rita Moreno.
DIR/PROD Robert Wise; DIR Jerome Robbins; SCR Ernest Lehman, from the musical by Arthur
Laurents and Jerome Robbins, music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.
US, 1961, color, 151 min. NOT RATED
15th Anniversary!
Sat, May 31, 6:30; Sun, Jun 1, 6:30
This ‘90s teen classic transports Shakespeare’s “The Taming
of the Shrew” to the halls of Padua High School. It’s love at
first sight for new kid Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) when
he spies the beautiful Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). But the object
of his affection can’t start dating until her thorny older sister,
feminist riot grrrl fan Kat (Julia Stiles), goes on a date of her
own. Cameron hatches a plot, bribing rebellious outcast
Patrick (Heath Ledger) to woo the strong-willed Kat. Although
their courtship begins on a false note, the two reluctantly
realize that they might be made for each other.
DIR Gil Junger; SCR
Karen McCullah, Kirsten Smith, from the play by William Shakespeare; PROD Andrew Lazar. US,
1999, color, 97 min. RATED PG-13
2014 marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of
William Shakespeare, whose christening day was
April 26, 1564. To commemorate this occasion,
AFI Silver commences the first of a three-part series,
culminating in 2016, which will mark the 400th
anniversary of the Bard’s death (April 23, 1616).
Included in the series will be numerous filmed
adaptations of his plays, as well as a wide variety of
films that draw upon Shakespearean source material,
often in adventurous and unusual ways.
Other institutions collaborating with AFI Silver on
this project during this time include: the Folger
Shakespeare Library, the National Gallery of Art, the
Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries and the
British Council.
Part I of AFI Silver’s Shakespeare Cinema series is
presented in partnership with the British Council.
Special thanks to Paul Smith, Director USA, and Kathy
Culpin, Events & Networks Manager, British Council.
AFI Member Passes will be accepted at all
HENRY V (1944)
HENRY V (1989)
Courtesy of MGM
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Courtesy of Criterion
Courtesy of MGM
Courtesy of Janus Films
Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures
Courtesy of MGM
Courtesy of ITV
Courtesy of Everett Collection
Courtesy of Everett Collection
Courtesy of MGM
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