Thursday, September 28, 2017

Shakespeare in passing in The Avengers

The Avengers. Dir. Joss Whedon. Perf. Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Hemsworth. 2012. Blu-Ray.  Walt Disney Video, 2012.

Sometimes, it's the briefest allusions that help make the film.

Surely, you'll agree that, without the lines in the clip below, The Avengers would not be as aesthetically pleasing—though it probably would be as popular—as it is.

It also lets us know that Joss Whedon is unlikely to forget about Shakespeare.

And it lets us know what Robert Downey, Jr. has been up to since he played Rivers in the Ian McKellen / Loncraine Richard III.

video

No one's fooled by Downey's attempt at fake Shakespeare ("Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?")—we know he knows the real Shakespeare and how to deliver his lines. 

The dismissive "tourist" at the end is just the icing on the cake.

And I'm not sure, but I think I can make out a diagram of the Globe Theatre on the helmet display—just for a second.

Links: The Film at IMDB.


Click below to purchase the film from amazon.com
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

Monday, September 4, 2017

Book Note: Too Too Solid Flesh

O'Donohoe, Nick. Too Too Solid Flesh. Seattle, Wizards of the Coast, 1989.

This is another of the books that I tackled so that you can run far away from it into the end zone.

I kept trying this book on and off throughout the summer. It took a long time because there were always books that were better, more gripping, and more attuned to the Shakespeare vibe I hope for in a work of modern Shakespearean fiction.

Too Too Solid Flesh takes us to a future in which all the acting is done by androids—and most of the audience appears to be androids as well.

There's also a murder. Someone high up in the echelons of those who program . . .

You know what, never mind. It doesn't matter, and I didn't pay that close attention.

We have an android Hamlet and an android Horatio (only he's actually a human disguised as an android to investigate the murder).

Here are the only two pages I thought interesting enough to pass along. At one point, they conjure up android (or possibly hologram) Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman—just to have a chat with them.


Later, Shakespeare himself shows up. Well, an android version of him does. Here's what happens when he does:


As you can see, there's just not much here. Steer clear.

Click below to purchase the book 
(despite those last two words of warning)
from amazon.com
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2016 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest