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visitors since May 12, 2002
February 19, 2002
Shakespeare In Love

Recently got to see this again on DVD. I loved it the first time I saw it, and see no reason to change my mind now.

One little thing about it is the effort it makes to provide a visual representation of the act of writing. Writing, to a cinema audience, is almost certainly the most boring activity imaginable. Paying good money to watch an actor scribbling a quill over a piece of parchment for two hours ... er, no thanks.

Shakespeare in Love tries to solve this by having lots of shots of crumpled up pieces of paper being thrown around the room. In one of the most telling shots in the whole film, one of these lands next to a skull. That's film symbolism: all is vanity, and everything winds up dead, but us folks at Shakespeare in Love have at least figured out a way of showing that, and we are glad.

That shot starts with a close-up of a skull. It's just sitting harmlessly on a shelf, with no paper to next it. For one tiny moment, nothing happens. And then the big excitement: a piece of crumpled up paper arrives from mid-air and lands next to it. That's the kind of thing that works for a cinema audience: action.

It might not be as exciting as, say, an alien invasion that turns into a massive car chase on top of an exploding volcano, with music by John Williams, but it's more than what anyone else has ever done at depicting the act of writing.

     Posted by Sean Hegarty at 11:58 PM in the Reviews category | Comments (0)
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