HAMLET (2000)
2000, Park Circus/Miramax, 112 min, USA, Dir: Michael Almereyda

Transposing some of theater’s most famous soliloquies to Blockbuster Video Stores and high-rise apartments, this powerful adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play is set among the corporate elite of Manhattan. Here the title character (a fine Ethan Hawke) is the son of a murdered Wall Street CEO, who employs a student film to “catch the conscience” of his father’s killer and exact revenge. Among the all-star supporting cast is Kyle MacLachlan, Julia Stiles, Liev Schreiber, Sam Shepard and Bill Murray. “The director's rigorous trimming has a boldness and vivacity that makes this version exhilarating while leaving Shakespeare's language and intent intact.” – Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times


ROMEO + JULIET (1996)
1996, 20th Century Fox, 120 min, USA, Dir: Baz Luhrmann

Writer-director-producer Baz Luhrmann re-envisions the bard’s star-crossed lovers as Gen X gangsters, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. The film’s retro-futuristic look, with guns standing in for swords and Veracruz for the mythical Verona Beach, earned an Oscar nomination for production designers Catherine Martin and Brigitte Boch. Co-written by Craig Pearce, co-starring John Leguizamo, Paul Sorvino and Brian Dennehy, with original music by Radiohead and others.


MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (2013)
2013, Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 107 min, USA, Dir: Joss Whedon

Director Joss Whedon gives Shakespeare's classic comedy a contemporary spin in this new adaptation, which was shot in B/W in just 12 days while remaining faithful to the original text. The story of sparring lovers Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof) offers a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love. “More than most adaptations, this is a film true to Shakespeare's practice of employing all means at hand to keep the crowd entertained.” – John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter


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