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|GR: Get thee to a video rental store!
Written by Elaine G
(5/20/2003 4:17 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: "it is a tragedy & therefore not worth reading.", penned by Sheena
My obsession with Hamelt began at 17 in my high school Shakespeare class. We read parts of it out loud, but what really grabbed my attention were the "movie" clips we were shown (the days before VCRs). The language is the thing (to paraphrase the bard). Reading it is very dry, but in the hands of even a moderately good actor, they become magical. From that point on I was dying to actually see it performed live. Seeing it any other way was not a possibility in those days (1976).
I never did manage to see it performed until I bought the Mel Gibson version. I then bought the Kenneth Branagh version, and then the version with Ethan Hawke. They're all well worth watching, and empasize different aspects of the text. I've let my children watch some of the less objectionable parts, and even though some of the references in the language escape them, they were very interested in the parts that they have seen.
Yes, the story is bloody and disburbing. But the language in the hands of a great actor is wonderful. And once you've seen it performed, reading it becomes a totally different experience.
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