Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Chris3123, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There are enough Shakespeare plays that adhere to the original setting but it's usually those who try new things that get more exposure (especially if Hollywood takes a shot at it again).

    I'm fine with both as long as it's well played. Someday i'd really like to see Patrick Stewart on stage playing something from Shakespeare.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    So, will the ads read: "From the Director of THE AVENGERS!"
     
  3. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was, and Much Ado is the first project from Joss's new Bellwether Pictures studio. Joss and his wife Kai Cole set up Bellwether specifically for micro-budget independent projects.

    I'm assuming Mutant Enemy will continue to be the production company for any future non-Marvel television work and films.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, it's not as if Shakespeare himself didn't update the settings of his own plays. "The clock hath stricken three?" They didn't have clocks that struck the hour in Ancient Rome! His portrayals of historical times and places were generally more like the world he and his audience lived in.
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!

    Blah blah blah. We like what we like. I prefer it one way, you have no preference. IDIC. I don't need a lecture every time I express an opinion..
     
  6. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Also a good point. And I fully acknowledge that even his historical plays were (as far as I know) performed in contemporary clothing.

    I was just talking to my wife about this tiny controversy. She's a very big fan of the costume drama (and has created period costumes for local theater). Her take is "There are so few movies set in that time period as it is, why pass up a good excuse to wear all those neat clothes?"

    FWIW :).
     
  7. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What? I'm not allowed to challenge your opinion on a public discussion board? ;)
     
  8. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I believe the Romans had clepsydra (water clocks) that could strike the hour.

    http://www.dl.ket.org/latin3/mores/techno/time/tellingtime.htm

    The costumes, props. etc used in Shakespeare's day are known to have been contemporary so, yes, they weren't obsessed about historical accuracy. The play's the thing.
     
  9. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    This one was announced quite a while ago actually, and I've been looking forward to it for a while. I loved Kenneth Brannagh's adaption of Much Ado... and I feel that Whedon's sense of humor is just right for a Shakespeare play. Should be good.
     
  10. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On the question of period appropriateness, was Shakespeare indifferent, or ignorant? Was Cleopatra dressed in kirtle and wimple because it didn't matter or because he didn't know any better? Perhaps the answer was written on the sands of the seacoast of Bohemia, washed away by the tides, never to be known.

    I'm really not so sure that Shakespeare always benefits from its loose attachment to place and time. After all, since real people are always specific to their place and time, ignoring that tends to falsify them. For instance, popular as Antony and Cleopatra seems to be, Cleopatra really seems to be some weird amalgam of King James' resentments of women (such as his mother Mary Queen of Scots or his predecessor Elizabeth I) and vamp that never carried any conviction to my eyes and ears.

    For another example, consider Othello. In Shakespeare's time, the discovery of the world was in full swing. You know, Hakluyt's Voyages, etc. In that context, Othello's pompous stories from Latin authors about strange marvels, listened to open-eyed by the gullible Rosalind put a very different complexion on Othello's doubts about her. Abstracting from the setting falsifies the characters.

    Nor do all aspects of Shakespeare really survive translation. Richard III really doesn't translate into thirties Fascism. It's about glorifying the Tudors by blackening their predecessor. The vision at Banquo's feast is meaningless to us. A woman's statue coming to life (I've forgotten if that's Cymbeline or A Winter's Tale) had resonances that simply do not apply today. I always found it remarkable that people so blithely ignored the basic premise of Lear that it is a cosmic tragedy if the King doesn't rule.
     
  11. Warp Coil

    Warp Coil Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They should. I mean, the genres are completely different and the audience for "The Avengers" is typically not the same audience who would go see a low-budget, independent Shakespearean film. But anyone with half a brain would try to pimp out Joss Whedon's connection to "The Avengers" if it means few more people go see the film out of curiosity.
     
  12. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I love this play, and I'm very happy to read that the cast is familiar with Shakespeare's cadence. It'll be hard, though, to be Branagh/Thompson in the roles.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Did you mean hard to beat them in the roles?
     
  14. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oops! Getting used to my iPad mini toy.
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Don't forget to stay through the closing credits for the bonus scene where Benedick and Beatrice go out for shwarma, only to be accosted by Samuel L. Jackson.

    "Get me Macbeth!"

    And watch for Stan Lee's cameo as an elderly W. Shakespeare. "I say to you . . . Excelsior!"
     
  16. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Bit of both. The knowledge base Shakespeare and his contemporarenous Elizabethan playwrights had to draw on was a lot narrower than our own, but he never let the stated facts of a story get in the way of whatever he'd prefer to do.
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    A Winter's Tale, as I recall.

    I also have dim memories of an old Poul Anderson novel set in an alternate universe in which all of Shakespeare's plays were historically accurate. Bohemia has a coast, there were clocks in ancient Rome, Prospero and Miranda are real people, etc. I think the title was A Midsummer Tempest.

    And I still have fond memories of a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that was set in a 1950's high school, complete with period music.

    "Why must I be a teenager in love?" actually fit the plot rather well! :)
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Exactly. A 1974 book from Del Rey. Actually it involves several alternate universes and a cross-dimensional tavern, but the Shakespearean one is one of the main ones. And most of the inhabitants of that dimension speak in iambic pentameter.
     
  19. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  20. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Love it. Really looking forward to this.