Video Versions: Film Adaptations of Plays on Video

Video Versions: Film Adaptations of Plays on Video

Video Versions: Film Adaptations of Plays on Video

Video Versions: Film Adaptations of Plays on Video

Synopsis

Many of our favorite films began as plays--some as well known as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and some not so well known as You've Got Mail's origin, a 1937 play Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo. Video Versions identifies nearly 300 films and their theatrical origins, providing readers with an overview of the films and highlighting similarities and differences to the source plays. Perfect for teachers, students, and anyone interested in theater and film, it is the most complete resource available for video versions of plays.

Excerpt

This book is especially for people who love theatre and would prefer the immediate experience of the "real thing," who would rather see plays mounted onstage than theatre transformed into another medium. But few Americans have the opportunity to see professional theatre onstage, beyond those who live in or near cosmopolitan urban centers where theatre still thrives and is honored -- for example, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles. Hollywood performs a service for the rest of us by providing a secondhand representation, the nearest thing to the real thing. Purists unwilling to compromise for an inferior medium can gratify their theatrical appetites only by becoming pilgrims, traveling to London to wor-- ship at the time-honored shrines of theatrical England, for example, from the National Theatre complex and the restored Globe on the South Bank, to the Royal Court on Sloane Square, to Covent Garden and Leicester Square. We understand that the theatrical experience is unique and that some of the best plays are simply unfilmable. Cinema cannot replicate the effect of John Dexter's staging of Peter Shaffer Equus; or Stephen Daldry revival of J. B. Priestley An Inspector Calls; or Willy Russell Blood Brothers at the Phoenix; or Caryl Churchill Serious Money, with its abu-- sive chorus; or Dennis Potter The Chosen One at the Barbican; or David Hare's Pravda at the National Theatre. In short, theatre is one medium, and film quite another. The two are not entirely interchangeable.

Although the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman once claimed that theatre had nothing to do with film, that claim is surely an overstatement. Plays are, after all, written in dialogue that is intended to be spoken and performed, and cinema is a performance medium. On the other hand, film should not be simply photographed theatre. Such approaches were taken . . .

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