The aesthetics of frame theory form the basis of Framing Shakespeare on Film. This groundbreaking work expands on the discussion of film constructivists in its claim that the spectacle of Shakespeare on film is a problem-solving activity.
Kathy Howlett demonstrates convincingly how viewers' expectations for understanding Shakespeare on film can be manipulated by the director's cinematic technique. Emphasizing that the successful film can transform Shakespeare's text while remaining rooted in Shakespearean conceptions, Howlett raises the question of how directors and audiences understand the genre of Shakespeare on film and reveals how the medium alters the patterns through which the audience views Shakespeare.
Kathy M. Howlett has taught Shakespeare at Northeastern University and is the author of articles on Shakespeare, film, and Aphra Behn.
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Shakespeare in Production examines a number of plays in context. Included are the 1936 Romeo and Juliet, unpopular with critics of filmed Shakespeare, but very much a “photoplay” if its time; the opening sequences of filmed Hamlets which span more than seventy years; The Comedy of Errors on television, where production of this script is almost impossible; and the Branagh Much Ado About Nothing, a “popular” film discussed in the context of comedy as a genre.
An impossible question from a Chinese actor—“Why is Shakespeare eternal?”—drove Sidney Homan after fifty years in the theater to ponder just what makes Shakespeare...well, Shakespeare. The result, Directing Shakespeare, reflects the two worlds in which Homan operates—as a scholar and teacher on campus, and as a director and actor in professional and university theaters.
Samuel Crowl's Shakespeare at the Cineplex: The Kenneth Branagh Era is the first thorough exploration of the fifteen major Shakespeare films released since the surprising success of Kenneth Branagh's Henry V (1989). Crowl presents the rich variety of these films in the “long decade: between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.”