Looking For Richard * Al Pacino * 1996

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Pacino as director? Well, he made a strange thing. He wanted to show why Americans have so much problems with Shakespeare and to try to change that. He asked people if they ever saw Shakespeare. Well, with films like “Prospero’s Books” by Peter Green, “Hamlet” with Mel Gibson, “Richard III” by Richard Loncraine who put the story in Nazi Germany, “Orlando” with Tilde Swinton and especially the wonderfull “Romeo + Juliet” with Leonardo DiCaprio, I suppose people who like the more serious films, will have seen some modern versions of the old plays (and there are many modern versions of “Othello”).

Still Pacino made a filmversion of the play “Richard III” and at the same time a documentary about the making of this film. In this documentary you see Pacino questioning people on the street about Shakespeare, his discussions with actors, scholars and other people about the play, the meaning of the text, the interpretation of it, etc. This makes “Looking For Richard” a strange watching experience. In a way “Richard III” is a bit clearer now. What characters are who and how are they related to eachother, what is the background of the story, etc., but on the other side, you get to see only fragments of the actual play, so you do not get into the actual story. In the line of interesting experiments with Shakespeare, this is surely not the most boring one, so should you get the change, just go and see it.

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