...that Julian Fellowes, he of the clunky, anachronistic prose and see-through plots that comprise Downton Abbey*, has actually presumed to re-write Romeo and Juliet in his new film of the play. Some of it is apparently Shakespeare, but Fellowes has 'improved' on parts of it by altering them.
How dare he? How dare anyone try to better Shakespeare? It's like The Beatles (whom I do respect)trying to re-write Bach. Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet stuck faithfully to the original words, was perfectly comprehensible, and (I thought) very well done.
*I know that DA has lots of fans; some of them are my best friends (yes; really). I also know that I may well be offending some of those fans by writing this. But I guess one of the advantages of a blog is that it's my blog, and a forum for my own opinions. No-one has to read or agree with it!
Sunday, 1 September 2013
Posted by Frances Garrood at 16:19
Labels: Julina Fellowes, Romeo and Juliet
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Always though he was pompous and this just confirms it.ReplyDelete
Doesn't it just!Delete
There will always be someone who presumes to improve upon the original, even after hundreds of years.ReplyDelete
Awful cheek though Kay, isn't it?Delete
'Presumptuous self-inflated onanist' - I offer that free of charge as a line for one of Mr Fellowes' characters in the next series. (Not that I've ever watched a second of it, of course.)ReplyDelete
I've not watched DA either. But whatever he or anyone else does, Shakespeare shines through. As blasphemy diminishes the blasphemer, not the god.ReplyDelete
Quite right, Z!Delete
I know just how you feel, but with me it's Little House on the Prairie. Mrs. RWP and I have been watching reruns of it every evening for several months now, just before reruns of The Waltons. I know. It's sad, isn't it? This week I decided to look up online the real Laura Ingalls Wilder and Charles and Caroline and Mary and Almanzo and discovered that their names may have been used in the series but not much else in is true.ReplyDelete
I am outraged. The last time this happened was when we saw the film made of John Gresham's book The Firm.
I understand about literary license and all that, but I prefer that films at least try to resemble the original works.
Even in Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet, Romeo said, "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?" but DID NOT THEN SAY, "It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." No, he didn't. The film may have "stuck faithfully to the original words," but it inexplicably left out a few I was expecting.
I apologize for this long comment.
I think leaving bits out isn't quite as bad as re-writing them. Oh, and no,apology needed!Delete
Oh dear, "improving" Shakespeare. Such conceit!ReplyDelete
My thoughts exactly, Teresa.Delete
Frances - I completely agree (although I watch DA)! The Baz Lurman film attracted huge numbers of young people, and I really enjoyed it too, but it used the right language (as far as I know).ReplyDelete
I'm afraid we watch DA too, Rsemary, but for all the wrong reasons!Delete
Indeed, Frances, nobody should try and "better" Shakespeare.ReplyDelete
And of course you are entitled to your own opinion about DA; I enjoyed the first two seasons but do not believe I am missing out on anything by not having seen the rest yet.
A very balanced reply, Meike.Delete
I am the dissenting voice of reason. My education was sadly lacking in the teaching of Shakespeare. We read it from books, and I was never taken to see any of his plays. Hence I couldn't understand them and consequently I have hated Shakespeare ever since. If Julian Fellows can improve on Shakespeare in any way, that can only be music to my ears. Play on, give me excess of it. Oh well, something stuck along the way.ReplyDelete
But Maggie, from the excerpts I've seen, he merely tries to ape the original style. So I don't think you'd find it any more helpful.Delete
Firstly I should say that I am an ardent and long-time lover of Shakespeare who has a general abhorrence of modern versions just as I find modern setting of operas unappealing. I have no idea what JF has done to Shakespeare: this being the first I've heard of it. However he is by no means the first person to play around with the setting of Shakespeare and not many years ago the BBC did four films loosely based on four of Shakespeare's plays which I happened to find very good entertainment (as did another of my even more ardent and knowledgeable Shakespearean friends).ReplyDelete
If and when I have seen the whole of JF's adaptations I shall pass a further opinion. Until then I shall remain emotionally neutral.
Very diplomatic, GB! We once walked out ot a production of Don Giovanni set on the moon...Delete
If people don't like Shakespeare's work (or that of anyone else) why can't they leave it alone and write something new of their own?ReplyDelete
Patsy, I quite agree.ReplyDelete