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A Midsummer Night's Dream [1999 film] (1999)
by Michael Hoffman (Director)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061073563, Paperback)"Come now, what masques, what dances shall we have.... What revels are at hand? Is there no play to ease the anguish of a torturing hour?"
This glossy companion to Michael Hoffman's film adaptation of Shakespeare's classic romance is not merely the text of a screenplay. While it does contain Hoffman's complete script, which radically reworks Shakespeare's play for the modern screen, it also limns the flourishes and creativity of his personal vision. The book is filled with the director's commentary on the play's events and the reasons behind his arresting choices. Readers are afforded the rare opportunity to see production designers' drawings of sets and costumes and to peruse art by Moreau, Waterhouse, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the ancient Etruscans alongside shots from the film that these pieces inspired. Scores of sumptuous photographs accompany the text.
Sidebars include commentary by actors Rupert Everett, Calista Flockhart, Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Stanley Tucci, who portray the chief characters. Hoffman's fascinating introduction relates how he chose his cast, how he imagines Shakespeare's magical world, and why he decided to set the drama in the 19th century: "[The play's] issues of conditioning and subversion led me naturally to the late Victorian setting. In a world dominated by convention, but poised on the verge of a dramatic shift, there seemed no better visual metaphor for the representation of Self than stiff collars, high necklines, tight corsets, and silly accessories. (And then to lose it all in the dark, elemental night)."
Read this book and enter Shakespeare's world of light and darkness, love and fury, magic, sudden change, and lasting delight--and in the process see how a modern filmmaker has brought new fancies to a dream that has entranced audiences for over 400 years. --Raphael Shargel
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:53 -0400)
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