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Final two Shakespeare films

Jan 21st, 2017 | By | Category: Front Page, News

In association with the First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare exhibit that took place this past November at Elizabethtown College, the College’s High Library and the Office of International Student Services offers a Shakespeare-inspired film festival featuring an international array of film adaptations.  All films are free and take place at 7 p.m. in the College’s Gibble Auditorium.

 

“Chimes at Midnight” — Thursday, February 16

Now considered a cinematic masterpiece, Orson Welles directed and starred as Sir John Falstaff in this 1965 Swiss/Spanish film that weaves together parts of five Shakespeare plays. It primarily draws from Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 but focuses on the ne’er-do-well, character of Falstaff.  Shot on a shoe-string budget in Spain, Welles ran into problems trying to finish and distribute the film. According to The Guardian newspaper, Welles thought the film was his greatest achievement. Notable English actor John Gielgud also appears in the starring role as King Henry IV. Viewers will have the opportunity to see the newly restored version of the film from the Criterion Collection.

“Ran”Thursday, March 16

This is the second of Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa’s great Shakespeare film adaptations. Released in 1985, late in Kurosawa’s career, this samurai film transfers the basic plot of King Lear to medieval Japan. It follows the story of the aged Lord Hidetora Ichimonji, who decides to divide his kingdom among his three sons with devastating consequences. This highly acclaimed film won many awards in 1985 including Best Foreign Language Film at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Best Foreign Film from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Best Film from the National Society of Film Critics. Terrence Rafferty of New York Times called the film “among the most thrilling movie experiences a viewer can have!”

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