Shakespeare, Cinema, Counter-Culture
Postmodern Appropriations of Shakespeare
Routledge – 2015 – 208 pages
Series: Routledge Studies in Shakespeare
Addressing for the first time Shakespeare’s place in counter-cultural cinema, this book examines and theorizes counter-hegemonic, postmodern, and post-punk Shakespeare in late 20th and early 21st century film. Drawing on a diverse range of case studies, Grant Ferguson presents an interdisciplinary approach that offers new theories on the nature and application of Shakespearean appropriations in the light of postmodern modes of representation. The book considers the nature of the Shakespearean inter-text in subcultural political contexts concerning the politicized aesthetics of a Shakespearean ‘body in pieces,’ the carnivalesque, and notions of Shakespeare as counter-hegemonic weapon or source of empowerment. Representative films use Shakespeare (and his accompanying cultural capital) to challenge notions of capitalist globalization, dominant socio-cultural ideologies, and hegemonic modes of expression. In response to a post-modern culture saturated with logos and semiotic abbreviations, many such films play with the emblematic imagery and references of Shakespeare’s texts. These curious appropriations have much to reveal about the elusive nature of intertextuality in late postmodern culture and the battle for cultural ownership of Shakespeare. As there has yet to be a study that isolates and theorizes modes of Shakespearean production that specifically demonstrate resistance to the social, political, ideological, aesthetic, and cinematic norms of the Western world, this book expands the dialogue around such texts and interprets their patterns of appropriation, adaptation, and representation of Shakespeare.
Preface Introduction: "We use the momentum of the enemy" Part I. New Punk Shakespeare 1. The Filth and the Fury (2000, UK) and Richard III: Punk, Antithesis and the Carnivalesque 2. Tromeo and Juliet (1996, USA) and Post-punk Shakespeare Part II. My Own Private Shakespeare: Queering Shakespeare on Film 3. The Angelic Conversation (1985, UK): Re-homoeroticising the Sonnets 4. My Own Private Idaho (1991, USA) and Henry IV: Subjected Bodies? 5. Private Romeo (2011, USA): Romeo and Juliet Reimagined Part III. Memento Mori: Hamlet and Anti-capitalism 6. Hamlet Liikemailmassa (Hamlet Goes Business, 1987, Finland): Revolutionary Shakespeare 7. Hamlet (2000) and the Culture Jam Part IV. Shakespeare and Counter-Cinema: Dogme95 and ‘Late’ Shakespeare on Film 8. The King is Alive and King Lear: A Dance of Death 9. Festen (The Celebration, 1999, Denmark): Action v Inaction ConclusionAppendix 1: A Political Act: Interview with Alan Brown, director of Private Romeo Appendix 2: A New Filmography of Alternative, Counter-cultural and Counter-cinematic Shakespeare on Film
Ailsa Grant Ferguson is Lecturer in Shakespeare and Early Modern English Literature at King’s College London, UK.