The Tempest

June 13th, 2012 → 7:54 am

“Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.” – The Tempest

My husband is out of town right now, which is why I’ve been able to dominate the television with so much Shakespeare this week.  Don’t worry, it won’t last much longer…  In this, my latest installment of Shakespeare movie reviews, I comment on The Tempest as directed by Julie Taymor and wonderfully acted by Helen Mirren.  From what I understanding this movie only got mixed reviews, but personally I found it delightful!  I think Prospero as Prospera was a magnificent stroke, and all the cinematography, staging, costumes, etc. were an absolute joy to watch.  Forget Rotten Tomatoes, I give it an unhesitating thumbs up!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


June 11th, 2012 → 7:27 am

“There lives not three good men unhanged in England;
and one of them is fat, and grows old.”  – Henry IV

I finally got around to watching the famous – but hard to find – Orson Welles film Chimes at Midnight, that I first blogged about back in January.  And all I can say is:  1) I need watch it again, and  2) Welles truly makes an amazing Falstaff.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


June 9th, 2012 → 8:02 am

“His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for ‘s power to thunder.”  – Coriolanus

I watched Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus last night.  It was weird to see a character who so disdains the limelight.  In this RealityTV, me, me, me generation, seeing someone actively shy away from attention and praise – even if he is also something of an ass – was rather refreshing.  I would like to think that I’m not the type to falsely flatter Neptune for his trident either.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Kristen Wiig

May 20th, 2012 → 8:21 am

“Good night, ladies, good night.  Sweet ladies, good night, good night.” – Hamlet

Not to compare Kristen Wiig to Ophelia (who said the above lines), but Kristen did have her own sad farewell last night on Saturday Night Live.  In truth, I don’t watch SNL much anymore, so maybe this will be good for me if it means Kristen will start writing more movies like Bridesmaids now.  That was funny!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Text Analysis

April 30th, 2012 → 6:39 am

“Not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Running it thus.”  – Hamlet

In my day job as a professor I came across a couple of academic articles about Shakespeare last week.  They involve textual analysis on Shakespeare’s sonnets – where the researcher breaks the text into distinct words and phrases and empirically evaluates them.  I found it fascinating, although at the same time somehow blasphemous to break Shakespeare’s sonnets up into mere words and evaluate them that way.  What is in a word?

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


April 28th, 2012 → 7:49 am

“I know a wench of excellent discourse,
Pretty and witty; wild and yet, too, gentle.”  – The Comedy of Errors

I recently went back to some of the dusty books in the far reaches of the shelves of my library and found The Collected Stories of Colette.  I read Colette as a child and loved her.  The verve, the honesty, the forthrightness.  She’s still great (though I think I prefer the Claudine novels to the short stories).  Indeed, I feel like she’s one of a class of very, very few authors who write fiction about women and not in a hokey, harlequin, boring way.  I wish there was more authors like her.  She makes “female” literature great.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Happy Belated Birthday!!

April 27th, 2012 → 8:48 am

A reader reminded me that I forgot to wish the bard a happy birthday on April 23. My mistake! Happy belated birthday Shakespeare!! Although, in truth, we don’t know his exact birth date for certain so who knows, maybe my wishes aren’t late at all!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Poem in Your Pocket Day

April 26th, 2012 → 7:51 am

Today is national Poem in Your Pocket Day.  In honor of which I spent a bunch of time last night rereading Shakespeare’s sonnets.  It was hard to pick just one for today, and I debated using one of my tried and true favorites (such as sonnet 30 or sonnet 116), but decided in the end to go for a fun new one.

The following sonnet captures a moment in time, when a lover fears for just a second that his love says she ‘hates’ him, when actually she ends up saying she ‘hates not you.’  Phew!

Those lips that Love’s own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said “I hate”
To me that languished for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet:
“I hate” she altered with an end
That followed it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who, like a fiend,
From heaven to hell is flown away.
   “I hate” from hate away she threw,
   And saved my life, saying “not you.”  – Sonnet 145

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Jane Austen Fight Club

March 15th, 2012 → 7:19 am

“O tiger’s heart wrapped in a woman’s hide!” – Henry VI

A friend from my writing group (thank you Reggie) alerted me to this Jane Austen Fight Club video yesterday.  It’s hilarious!  I just had to share it with readers of this blog as well.  Enjoy.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Jonathan Franzen

March 1st, 2012 → 7:15 am

“No word to save thee.” – Measure for Measure

Jonathan Franzen, alleged author of the year, expressed his true nature with this misogynistic article about Edith Wharton in the New YorkerIt makes me enraged, the misogyny against women that still exists in the world.  I imagine there will always be racism, bigotry, meanness of some form in society, whether it be against women, overweight people, African Americans, or whatever, but why?  Why does it have to be this way??  It just makes me so mad!!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Stupid/Evil People