Shakespeare Film Series
By Kathleen Telling
The Ransom Center presents its Shakespeare Film Series in conjunction with the current exhibition Shakespeare in Print and Performance, on view through May 29, 2016.
From the stage to the silver screen, the works of William Shakespeare have captivated audiences since the earliest days of his playwriting. Reimagining the Bard’s famed productions, Hollywood has produced countless creations both adapted from and inspired by the works of Shakespeare. In conjunction with Shakespeare in Print and Performance, the Ransom Center screens four Shakespeare-related films to complement the exhibition: Hamlet, The Dresser, Titus, and Theatre of Blood.
Screenings are free and open to the public. The Ransom Center’s Charles Nelson Prothro Theater has limited seating. Line forms upon arrival of the first person, and doors open 30 minutes in advance.
Thursday, May 5, 7 p.m.
Sir Laurence Olivier directed and starred in Hamlet (1949). The first non-American film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, its stark black and white designs reflect the desire to present the stories of Shakespeare as epics existing outside of time—an approach that mirrors the designs of Edward Gordon Craig and Norman Bel Geddes featured in the exhibition. Cline Curator of Theater and Performing Arts Eric Colleary introduces the film. Runtime 155 minutes, not rated.
Thursday, May 12, 7 p.m.
Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser (1983) is a WWII story of a deteriorating veteran Shakespeare actor (played by Albert Finney) whose personal assistant (Tom Courtenay) must rally the old man before each of his demanding performances. Harwood was the dresser to Donald Wolfit, whose repertory company performed across the U.K. during the Blitz, and whose papers reside at the Ransom Center. Cline Curator of Theater and Performing Arts Eric Colleary introduces the film. Ransom Center members are invited to a reception at 6 p.m. prior to the film. Runtime 118 minutes, rated PG.
Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m.
Director Julie Taymor’s Titus (1999) is a stunningly designed film adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known works, with Anthony Hopkins starring as Titus Andronicus. Jessica Lange, Alan Cumming, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers co-star. Cline Curator of Theater and Performing Arts Eric Colleary introduces the film. Runtime 162 minutes, rated R.
Theatre of Blood
Thursday, May 26, 7 p.m.
Vincent Price stars in Theatre of Blood (1973), a cult classic about a maligned actor who invites all of his worst critics to an abandoned theater and kills them off one-by-one in the manner of Shakespearean tragedies. Cline Curator of Theater and Performing Arts Eric Colleary introduces the film. Runtime 104 minutes, rated R.
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