Saw Hamlet at the National. Liked it a lot. Didn't feel too long, though it was three and a half hours with an interval.
The play seemed to get a lot more laughs than usual. Reminded me of a theory I read recently that Hamlet was much more of a comedy than it's usually played. He compared it to Young Frankenstein, half-mocking and half-exploiting the corny conventions of the previous generation of drama. There's obviously some element of that in the play-within-a-play, but this guy reckoned the speeches of Hamlet himself are deliberately overdone, and his indecision a mockery of the agonized dithering of earlier heroes.
Rory Kinnear made a pretty decent Hamlet, pretty brisk and playful in the mad scenes, better than the furniture-chewing Jude Law I saw last.
Production was in modern dress, some nice touches like having some of the speeches addresses to videocamera, but thought it undermined the stuff about Ophelia's chastity to have her so modern-seeming.
Overall, pretty good, worth seeing. The Travelex tickets are only £10 so it's about the same price as a movie.
Update [2010-11-30 18:38:17 by TheophileEscargot]:
Rory Kinnear has just won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for best actor for the role. Hmm, should have been more effusive I suppose.
The result is a pretty good movie: fast-moving, cheesy fun. Had a couple of minor quibbles: thought the ending broke down a little bit by going over-the-top, and the CGI looks a bit odd with the dirty film stock. Overall though, good, tasteless entertainment.
Lots of violence and nudity as you'd expect. RT. Interesting how similar it was to Hamlet. An unsympathetic protagonist seeking revenge for the death of a loved one, played sometimes straight, sometimes as a spoof of an older genre, ending with an blade fight with the antagonist, whose own treachery ironically leads to some of the deaths.
What I'm Watching 2
Saw animated feature The Secret of Kells on DVD. Lovely animation about an incident in the creation of the illuminated manuscript the Book of Kells, with an intricate, flowing animation style inspired by the Book itself. Great character design from the stiff Abbot to the menacing Northmen. The plot is slight but it does the job. Well worth seeing.
What I'm Not Reading
Not sure why, but haven't been reading much in the last couple of weeks. Got a bit fed up with Paolo Bacigalupi's "Ship Breaker" a few chapter's in, but haven't felt like anything else either.
Video. Police Squad. TRONified Modern Times, Aliens. more. N-scale trains, more. Complete 46-minute Krapp's Last Tape. Defenestration compilation. Nicholas Cage loses his shit. Aurora Borealis timelapse.
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