Shakespeare on film and other things

Last night, Paul and I watched Kenneth Branagh‘s Henry V.

Normally I try to avoid Shakespeare because I really struggle with the language – I just don’t understand most of what they’re saying – but Paul (being the cultured, middle-class lad that he is) insisted I should stick with it and regularly offered translations for me. In theory, I would like to know more Shakespearean plays (it really helps when people are refering to them) but I think I need to sit down and actually read them slowly (preferably with a translation close by) so I can understand what’s going on. I studied Romeo and Juliet at school so I know it and can pretty much understand it, but any other of his plays, I get lost. I recently borrowed a manga version of Julius Caesar from the library so I could learn what happens but I think they may leave out some of the story. When Baz Lurhman’s Romeo and Juliet came out, even though they still used the Shakespearean language, I really liked it. I think it was because I already knew the story and they made it obvious what was going on. In other Shakespearean films, they just expect you to understand the language. They should have subtitles! I wish Henry V had subtitles.

Paul and I recently watched In Bruges. It was an interesting and funny but strange film. I’m still not sure how I feel about some of it. Ultimately it was a gangster film, set in the medieval city of Bruges in Belgium. There were a lot of funny lines but there were some that troubled my little politically correct soul.

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