Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Milestone Collection: Silent Shakespeare

Tonight, I watched The Milestone Collection: Silent Shakespeare. This disc features seven short films based on plays by William Shakespeare. Included areKing John (Great Britian, 1899), The Tempest (Great Britian, 1908), A Midsummer Night's Dream (USA, 1909), King Lear (Italy, 1910), Twelth Night (USA, 1910), The Merchant of Venice (Italy, 1910), and Richard III (Great Britian, 1911).

This glimpse into a cinematic past was somewhat interesting. Half of these films featured hand-tinting, which was very well done. The costuming, luxurious throughout, was of particular note. However, most of the movies appeared to be little more than filmed stage plays. And the acting was often theatrical, exagerated. It was remarkable to see something like King John (though extremely brief), because of its age.  A Midsummer Night's Dream was also of note, as it featured Maurice Costello and his two daughters, Dolores and Helene.

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