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Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar
May 15, 2013 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Neither a borrower nor a lender be. 198 movies and shows cut together to reform, Voltron-like, as Hamlet
posted by yerfatma (32 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
[via]
posted by yerfatma at 7:15 AM on May 15, 2013


I don't know how it would have worked but I clicked expecting it to be a line-for-line recreation of the script. I mean, you could at least have had 'Who's there?' pretty easily.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:17 AM on May 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Trust shakespeherian to gripe about that.

I was a little sad that they included actual performances of Hamlet. This could have been much simpler to create, although more copyright-infringing....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:20 AM on May 15, 2013


Once I understood what it was, I enjoyed it. Actual performances of Hamlet aside, I love seeing it in all the little crevices of culture. Also good to be reminded that, damn, Willie could write.
posted by dry white toast at 7:28 AM on May 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Dollhouse! Happy Endings! Apartment 23! FEEEEEEEEENY!
posted by kmz at 7:32 AM on May 15, 2013


In case you don't have the time, here are several complete (abridged) productions of Hamlet, back to back by the RSC1.


1Reduced Shakespeare Company
posted by plinth at 7:38 AM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eleventy bonus points for Gilligan's Island. To this day I can't hear the Toreador song with the right words.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:50 AM on May 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


There is the story of the woman who read Hamlet for the first time and said, “I don’t see why people admire that play so. It is nothing but a bunch of quotations strung together.”
–Issac Asimov, Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare
posted by cthuljew at 8:10 AM on May 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


Damnit cthuljew!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:19 AM on May 15, 2013


[via]

Hey, that's by one of MetaFilter's Own!
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:23 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It must have taken a lot of restraint to not just shove a whole song from Hair in there, and an excerpt from another.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:27 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


(whole song)(excerpt)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:36 AM on May 15, 2013


Part of a long and noble tradition of 15-Minute Hamlets! Here's Tom Stoppard's 1976 script and a video of the Dogg's Troupe performance.
posted by Westringia F. at 8:56 AM on May 15, 2013


I shouldn't hate the bard but the educational system that either ruined, addled, or promoted a century of lazy writers is to be detested.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 9:35 AM on May 15, 2013


?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:42 AM on May 15, 2013


came for Lion King, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and David Tennant's Hamlet. Happy on all counts!
with a Bonus of Benedict Cumberbatch
posted by ShawnString at 9:48 AM on May 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm just saying that it was an easy way out for a lot of writers to quote him. To me it seems like a copout. I get that aphorisms are a great way for humans to disseminate knowledge but it feels like people not taking their own creations seriously.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 9:48 AM on May 15, 2013


Do you mean quoting as in 1) having characters intentionally say things that the characters know to be quotations, 2) having characters say things that you've ripped off from Shakespeare, or 3) something like The Lion King which is a quasi-adaptation of Hamlet? Or something else? Serious question.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:51 AM on May 15, 2013


I'm mostly saying 2) though I can see many references in this that end up with characters that are at odds with that notion.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 9:57 AM on May 15, 2013


Really people, if you're going to have a Star Trek VI clip, for the love of god make it The Original Klingon.
posted by dry white toast at 10:38 AM on May 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I loved this, thanks! I love the thick crust of accumulations, like barnacles. I'm going to be a asst director on a community theater Hamlet this summer, and this has really whetted my appetite!
posted by feste at 10:46 AM on May 15, 2013


If you did LSD and went to a standard production it might seem like this. So, I enjoyed it.
posted by angrycat at 11:15 AM on May 15, 2013


a) that was pretty awesome, though

b) using actual films of Hamlet feels like cheating; I don't know where I stand on parodies, but the best bits were the Hamlet quotes that appeared in totally non-Hamlet contexts, and

c) I really wish they had used at least part of Robert Le Page's brilliant version of the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from Jesus of Montreal. That version is where I first fell in love with that speech. The original is brilliant, but so over-quoted that it's hard to really listen to and understand the words and not just hear all the parodies echoing in your mind - but in the version I saw, it had been translated into French, and then translated back for the English subtitles, so it was not the same words and I could concentrate on the meaning of this most profound monologue. That speech in Jesus of Montreal is what made me want to play Hamlet when I grew up - or, at least, like the character, shoe-horn the monologue into another part.
posted by jb at 11:18 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Part of a long and noble tradition of 15-Minute Hamlets! Here's Tom Stoppard's 1976 script and a video vimeo of the Dogg's Troupe performance.

My younger sister and brother and I performed this on a Thanksgiving camping trip at Roosevelt Lake one year. For the finale I was both Claudia and Clytemnestra.

Sadly I do not have the video up on YouTube.
posted by mountmccabe at 1:13 PM on May 15, 2013


Sorry, I mean Claudius and Gertrude. Mixed up versions of the story.
posted by mountmccabe at 1:14 PM on May 15, 2013


I'm just saying that it was an easy way out for a lot of writers to quote him. To me it seems like a copout

Who would you have them reference instead? If no one at all, it should be acknowledged William wasn't exactly a paragon of originality, plot-wise.
posted by yerfatma at 2:11 PM on May 15, 2013


I love how often Polonius gets quoted in earnest.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:52 PM on May 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Lazy writing will always exist. Most of the movie references that I twigged on were earned -- e.g. Big Lebowski, or Withnail & I. I suppose some of the TV shows were being a little lazy, or just trying to spice up their dreary quotidian scripts, but it's also a pretty tough slog being a TV writer and this is an easy way to call out to theatre and other educated types in your audience (because of course TV writers are theatre and other educated types themselves). Anyway, there are ways in which these can see to be crutches and better writers avoid that in the telling.
posted by dhartung at 6:00 PM on May 15, 2013


Shakespeare's plays were mostly reworkings of older stories, anyway, weren't they?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:12 PM on May 15, 2013


Shakespeare's plays were mostly reworkings of older stories, anyway, weren't they?

Largely, yeah. (Although "reworking" doesn't quite do justice to what he did: turn some fairly dry source material into some of the best plays in the English language.)

The history plays, for example, are largely based on Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles and Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans. There are all kinds of other sources for the comedies, tragedies, and poems (The Comedy of Errors, for instance, is based on Plautus' play Menaechmi), and there's a pretty decent table listing them here.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:32 AM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love how often Polonius gets quoted in earnest.

This is, in my opinion, one of the great failures of modern culture: that so few people realize what a goddamn blowhard Polonius is.
posted by NoraReed at 9:03 AM on May 16, 2013


And I wuz just down at the pub wif me mates and we wuz discussin' what a bloke the gent wuz.
posted by dhartung at 10:17 PM on May 16, 2013


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