I have been reading about the Hollow Crown series, and while the films themselves are great, the distribution of the films has been terrible.
As I understand it, BBC2 in cooperation with Neal Street Productions (famed director Sam Mendes' company) had discussed making new film versions of all of Shakespeare's plays.
I read recently that they couldn't even get enough money to make these first few films, and they had to go to Universal TV to get the balance of funds.
I am very pleased to read, what with the overwhelming success of these first films, there are plans to proceed with more.
What really concerns me is that even in this of all years 2012 -- with the Olympics, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and all of the attention to England -- why is there such difficulty in getting these films made?
Why are these films not available outside the UK?
I think anyone would agree with me that this series is long overdue. I think you would agree that there is an audience in the world that is starving for more Shakespeare films.
I suspect the problem is that while the world needs more Shakespeare films, these films are not setting the world on fire. They are very traditional adaptations of the plays. The actors are great, the production value is decent, but the entire product seems not to have much of any appeal outside the UK.
That is a shame.
I suspect that while many people want more Shakespeare, even more than that they want to understand what the plays mean, why the plays were written and they want to understand the man who wrote them. These present adaptations deliver none of that.
I wrote my versions of Hamlet, Richard III and The Merchant of Venice to deliver all of that. My adaptations present the plays in their original historical context in order to see why they were written, why Shakespeare's audience loved them, and explore the life of William Shakespeare.
I look forward to seeing more of these BBC2 versions, but it won't come as a surprise if they face more financial and distribution obstacles, and never make all of the plays.
Shakespeare did not write his plays for us. He wrote them for his audience.
My new versions of these plays transport us back in time to see the plays as they were first performed.
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