opposed to the predominantly political approach exemplified by Anonymous , which is also famous for its representation of the Oxfordian theory of authorship. Will , the 2017 TNT series (not discussed here) subscribes to a religious interpretation, supporting the idea of a Catholic Shakespeare, while A Waste of Shame seeks to give a local habitation and a name to the fair youth and the Dark lady of the sonnets, and relies on Katherine Duncan-Jones’s theory of the syphilitic Shakespeare. 12 Finally, All Is True focuses on the role of family and particularly the
Sky as ‘a harsh post-war Western’, 10 the film appears rather conservative in its resolution, even if its gender politics imply the changing attitudes to women’s role in society characteristic of the post-war era.
Yellow Sky was made in the middle of the period described as the Golden Age of the western, spanning roughly from Stagecoach (1939, dir. John Ford) to the end of the 1950s, possibly even to the 1960s. 11 The film’s temporal and spatial setting – ‘1867, The West’ – is therefore meaningful to its audiences in more ways than one: it specifies an era
considerable cinematic trend.’ 48 In a discussion of films about British artists in particular, Jim Leach argues how the Thatcherite era’s low output of biopics may be connected to Prime Minister Thatcher’s commonly known Victorian middle-class view of national identity, and the fact that her understanding of the great achievers of the nation – as represented by portraits on the walls of 10 Downing Street – did not include artists, ‘not even Shakespeare’. 49
The reasons for the newfound popularity of biopics since the 1990s may be manifold; apart from political changes
values tended to be represented nostalgically, as in the melancholy road movie Harry and Tonto (1974, dir. Paul Mazursky). Yet even if many scholars saw a final fading away of the genre in the late 1990s, the twenty-first century proved that there is still life in the old warrior. One reason for its continued, if uneven, popularity, may be connected to America’s unchanging belief in its own sacred mission, justifying its expansionist imperialism, and the way the image of the frontier lives on in the popular imagination and political rhetoric as well. As Gavin
particular subgenre. As Meghan Sutherland argues, ‘the mainstream zombie remake signifies as it does in part because the themes and subjects it narrates intersect with the political and industrial institutions that produce it’. 35 That is why it is vital to examine the zombie Shakespeare films in their industrial and generic contexts as well, not simply as channels of general social critique, and certainly not only as distorted forms of the Bard. As an examination of Zombie Hamlet and Warm Bodies will show, these films successfully incorporate both Shakespearean
, Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas , Abel Ferrara’s King of New York , the Coen brothers’ Miller’s Crossing , and State of Grace , directed by Phil Joanou and Michael Lee Baron were all released in 1990.
Such timing cannot be an accident: the gangster movie was clearly living its renaissance – sometimes this period is also referred to as the neo-gangster era – resonating well with the contemporary socio-political issues, including ‘the recession of the early 1990s’. 58 As Mark Nicholls argues, this was a time when films like these mafia narratives ‘have a great deal
we can find in the film is the ‘faux-Shakespearean’ 12 phrase uttered by Michael, who is at that point dressed as Shakespeare: ‘The shit hath hitteth the fan-eth’, illustrating the fake ‘antiquated language’ which is a significant element in the adaptation (and marketing) politics of the film and the genre as a whole. 13 French convincingly shows how ‘The film’s marketing exploits the film’s “girl power” message and its relationship to other teen films far more than its status as a Shakespeare adaptation.’ 14
Figure 4.1 Rebel love in the parking lot
for political, material, and sexual advantage’, the melodrama believes in the possibility of returning to a harmonious and benevolent universe. 61 Manju in Life Goes On embodies maternal love that creates unions above all divisions, love that heals all wounds, and that is the most powerful source of life, capable of opposing the destructive forces of the world as well. At the same time, it is equally significant that – contrary to the tragic fate of half the cast in Shakespeare’s drama – in this British-Asian melodramatic retelling of King Lear the only
our point of view, one of
the film’s themes is the conflict between the Spanish-derived
personality and the Anglo-Saxon, in New York as a city of immigrants.
Irene Dash has emphasised the historical moment when the original
musical was staged, suggesting that dividing society and countries into
polarised enemies was a conscious political strategy during the Cold War
in the 1950s: ‘the culture of fear
embarrassed by the play, sometimes apologetic
about what they see as its distasteful sexual morality and crude comedy.
But the fact remains that the play is embedded firmly in the popular repertory
and in countless film adaptations, always reflecting some attitudes to
equality and inequality current at the time of performance.
There are various possible explanations for the popularity.
The politics of the