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Adrian Wootton 2016
Wootton Talks Shakespeare
Presented by MIFF 37ºSouth Market & Accelerator, Adrian Wootton returns exclusively to Melbourne for another series of his acclaimed Illustrated Film Talks this year focusing on the rich screen legacy William Shakespeare, who died 400 years ago and is the most filmed author ever whose works have inspired hundreds of screen productions.
A former Director of the London Film Festival, British Film Institute and the UK’s National Film Theatre, Wootton is CEO of Film London & The British Film Commission, Director of the Crime Scene Festival, and a program advisor to the Venice Film Festival, London Film Festival and Italy’s Courmayeur Noir Fest. Wootton has also served as BFI Head of Exhibition, Director of Nottingham’s Broadway Media Centre, Director of the Bradford Playhouse, contributor to the Guardian, Sight & Sound, BBC Radio, Visiting Professor of Film & Media at Norwich University and received an Honorary Doctorate by The University of East Anglia.
Each lecture is $15 (MIFF passes not valid).
Interview with Adrian Wootton
Laurence Olivier: A life in Shakespeare
Sunday 07 August: 5pm to 7pm; Village Roadshow Theatrette at the State Library
From school productions of Shakespeare, to early success on the London stage (with the likes of a celebrated 1935 production of Romeo & Juliet alongside John Gielgud), to worldwide acclaim with his trio of Shakespeare films as actor-director (1944’s Henry V, 1948’s Hamlet, 1955’s Richard III), to his final Shakespearian performance in a 1983 TV production of King Lear, legendary British actor-director Laurence Olivier (1907-1989) was arguably the 20th Century’s greatest progenitor of Shakespeare. With clips, slides, anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories, Wootton traces Olivier’s amazing history and life-long obsession with performing and producing Shakespeare on stage and screen.
Followed by: Special screening of BBC Arena-Film London documentary All The World’s A Screen: Shakespeare on Film (UK, 2016; Dir: David Thompson; Wr/Pr: Adrian Wootton & David Thompson; 60 mins).
Shakespeare goes to Hollywood!
Monday 08 August: 5pm to 7pm; Village Roadshow Theatrette at the State Library
Drawing on Shakespeare since the earliest days of silent cinema, America has only occasionally fared well with orthodox screen adaptations of Shakespeare. Instead, Hollywood has succeeded more with Shakespeare when being playful, inserting his stories into musicals (Kiss Me Kate), westerns (Yellow Sky) and science fiction (Forbidden Planet) or borrowing plots and characters to underpin contemporary stories (The Lion King, 10 Things I Hate About You) – although notable exceptions include the independent cinema masterpieces of Orson Welles and contemporary retoolings by the likes of Gus Van Sant (1991’s My Own Private Idaho) and Australian Baz Luhrmann in 1996’s Romeo & Juliet. In this lavishly illustrated talk, Wootton plots this chequered history and tells the tales behind the making of the most notable movies.
From Silent to Sound: Shakespeare on Screen
Tuesday 09 August: 11am to 1pm; Village Roadshow Theatrette at the State Library
*** This session is targeted at students and school groups; however bookings are open to general public ***
From Silent to Sound, Western to Musical, British Cinema to Bollywood and everything in between, filmmakers have constantly renewed the populist link between Shakespeare and audiences, making new versions of Shakespeare’s works with contemporary connections that ensure Shakespeare’s stories, characters and themes remain living, breathing touchstones in our culture, life and societies. With a diverse range of clips and slides, Wootton chronicles the diverse history, classic movies, major film and great filmmakers from around the world who have adapted Shakespeare from 1899 to the present day.
Branagh, the Bard & the Brits
Tuesday 09 August: 5pm to 7pm; Village Roadshow Theatrette at the State Library
Whilst the earliest-surviving Shakespeare film is an-1899 British effort, and there is a long tradition of translating the Bard of Avon into British film, it was really not until Laurence Olivier made his dramatic entry into directing with 1944’s Henry V that British Cinema and Shakespeare became indelibly linked. Wootton explores this vibrant legacy with Kenneth Branagh being amongst the most notable in recent times as well as international filmmakers like Franco Zeffirelli (Taming of the Shrew) and Roman Polanski (Macbeth) shooting their Shakespeare movies in the UK.
Followed by: Special screening of Shakespeare’s Sister, two Film London-British Council shorts from female filmmakers comprising ‘Wyrdoes’ (w/d: Nat Luurtsema; inspired by Macbeth) and ‘Marina and Adrienne’ (w/d: Lucy Campbell; inspired by Pericles, Prince of Tyre) (UK, 2016; 30 mins).
Shakespeare: From Globe Theatre to World Cinema
Wednesday 10 August: 5pm to 7pm; Village Roadshow Theatrette at the State Library
Shakespeare on film was a global phenomenon of silent cinema, but as the talkies appeared, this production waned until Japanese filmmaking genius Akira Kurosawa delighted with his amazing Macbeth: Throne of Blood in 1957 and paved the way for a plethora of Shakespeare adaptations globally where filmmakers used their own cultural forms and traditions to embrace Shakespeare whilst retaining the essential elements of his characters and themes. From Bollywood to Russia to Australia and beyond, Wootton describes Shakespeare movies from a variety of languages, periods and cultures proving that his work belongs to the world and remains vitally alive and well in contemporary art because of its emotional empathy and relevance to people across the planet.
Followed by: Special screening of Still Shakespeare, five Film London-FLAMIN experimental animation shorts from London animators Shaun Clark, Sharon Liu, Farouq Suleiman, Kim Noce and Meghana Bisineer inspired by Othello, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear. (UK, 2016; 20 mins).