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November 7th, 2011


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12:05 pm - More on Coriolanus
I have been working quite hard lately to keep up with my commitments in writing and teaching. I did take a big break on Saturday and I went to Warwick Arts Centre, and met up with emmzzi. The event was a talk by professor Tony Howard about film representations of 'Shakespeare's Rome'. That was really interesting but a little bit frustrating because I would have liked to have seen more - more clips, more analysis. It passed like a flash. Then emmzzi and I went and had some lunch, it was great to have a chance to catch up.

Then the showing of Coriolanus. I posted on Saturday to say it was hard for me to judge it objectively. There are two reasons. One is that I have been thinking for ages - since I saw it at the theatre - about a modern-dress version of Coriolanus. I have been reading the play for a couple of years now, and deciding how I would stage it. For example some of the scenes I would have in a TV studio, as a filmed debate, cutting to people watching it on screen. I had no idea Fiennes was doing this for real. And that could have been a problem for me, except that the decisions he made are really close to the ones I had in mind. So, this film is like my own private idea, projected outwards onto a screen. A real thrill for me. Great experience.

The guy who introduced the film said that Coriolanus had been a real obsession with Ralph Fiennes, and many of the decisions Fiennes made about interpretation are totally in line with what I wanted to see. For example, I said this before, he has made the struggle between democracy and arrogant separation more equal and more painful. And he has totally shown the emotional relationship between Coriolanus and Aufidius as I see it in my mind's eye.

This film is just right for me. I am concerned that its release has been delayed, and I hope that a wider audience will be as excited and impressed by it as I have been.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:katlinel
Date:November 7th, 2011 12:07 pm (UTC)
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I will definitely look out for the film and hope it gets its release soon. Thank you for drawing attention to it. I don't know the play at all, so without your commentary might not have thought to go.
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From:communicator
Date:November 7th, 2011 12:28 pm (UTC)
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I hope you like it. It's got a lot of fighting scenes in it.

The news clips are fronted by Jon Snow from Channel 4 news. I love him, but I'm afraid he doesn't quite rise to the challenge of making iambic pentameters sound like a news bulletin. But it's great to see it done, after imagining it.

Edited at 2011-11-07 12:29 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:executrix
Date:November 7th, 2011 01:56 pm (UTC)
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It's got a guy saying that he was more excited to meet up with his Best Enemy Forever again than he was to get married.
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From:communicator
Date:November 7th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
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Absolutely, and played as such, but the development of their relationship is not romanticised either. Aufidius is basically a decent, competent soldier, and Coriolanus is a nutter.
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From:nineveh_uk
Date:November 7th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
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Is the film based on (for want of a better way of putting it) Fiennes' version of the play from a decade or so ago? In which case, I particularly want to see it as what I mostly remember about the play is the agony of standing through it, and a man in the audience being taken ill and removed in a (not his) wheelchair.
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From:communicator
Date:November 7th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I didn't know he'd done Coriolanus on stage. I suppose that was when he became obsessed with it. I wish I had seen it.

Standing? Was it at the Globe?
[User Picture]
From:nineveh_uk
Date:November 8th, 2011 09:56 am (UTC)
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It was the Almeida in 2000, but not at their usual theatre, and there were standing places at the back of the stalls. I think even then there was something about the play having been a long-standing obsession of his.

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