Monday, March 21, 2016

Watch This: Peter O'Toole & Orson Welles Talk About Hamlet

Welles & O'Toole at a party some years later. Drinks may have been consumed.

The AFS Essential Cinema series Shakespeare Our Contemporary begins on Thursday March 24 with a screening of the 1935 version of A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM. The series is presented in conjunction with the Harry Ransom Center's exhibition Shakespeare In Print & Performance.

From the BBC, this is one of the most interesting discussions about the various facets of perhaps the most complex character in all of literature, Hamlet.

On a television stage set, three actors sit together and talk. It's a fascinating dynamic. The older man, actor Ernest Milton, represents what we might call the orthodoxy of Shakespeare staging. The middle aged man, Orson Welles, a former enfant terrible of the stage, has many brilliant observations about Shakespeare. The younger man, Peter O'Toole, an Irishman making a great career in films, is full of the pep and vigor of youth and thus reflects one of Hamlet's most important traits, his callowness.


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