disjointed part 1: hamlet & local street artists

so today’s blog will be an amalgam of things. usually, i will see, hear, experience something that inspires me to write. but in this case, several days have passed in which things got me as far as *thinking* about blogging, but not actually writing. so…here goes. (if typos abound, it is my cold medicine kicking in. i am pretty sick.) in no particular order:

1. hamlet. as of today, 64 movies appear on imdb under the name of hamlet. 64. so i have never actually seen the version with ethan hawke. until this evening. mixed feelings. casting sam shephard as hamlet’s ghost=brilliant. i buy ethan hawke as hamlet…he is surely capable. and julia stiles, fair enough. (although i prefer her in contemporary movies based on shakespearean themes…think ‘O’ and ’10 things i hate about you.’) but kyle maclachlan as claudius and bill murray as polonius? no. kyle maclachlan is about the most uncompelling claudius i have EVER seen. ever. and bill murray, god love him, should never ever do shakespeare again. his casual air completely works against the poetry of the language. i am not as schooled in the bard as i’d like, but that casting choice seems reasonable only in the most superficial way. (i see that this job fell right after rushmore and thus, he was still climbing the come-back trail.)

on the whole, i am typing this as the movie is playing, so it obviously hasn’t successfully grabbed my attention enough to focus. from a directorial perspective, i do not believe the concept has been well-defined. i don’t mind the updated angle, but everything has been rendered so casual and nonchalant that i fail to see the theatricality of the piece. the world of the play is not as dire or as extreme as it need be for the plot to seem plausible. it aims at edgy and lands at luke-warm. so angsty on hawke’s part that it almost feels more like dawson’s creek meets cruel intentions. (but without as much sex or eye-candy. sadly. even i can tolerate sarah michelle gellar for the glib ryan phillipe and a good soundtrack.) i digress. consider baz lurhmann’s romeo and juliet, which i think is absolutely brilliant by comparison. sure, the psychadelic, ADD-inspired images and pace can grow a bit tiresome and at the time, i remember finding details (such as the engraved ‘longsword’ on the guns) a little clumsy. but i also was completely caught up in the world that lurhmann created…and all the elements worked together to reinforce the impact of the environment, despite a few missteps. (plus, mercutio as a drag queen was probably one of the most brilliant and yet, seemingly obvious choices i have ever seen. i have always found mercutio prone to queening out, especially in the nureyev/fontaine ballet version… mercutio takes about 20 minutes to die in one long, drawn-out roll around the floor.) point being, you either loved lurhmann’s version or hated it. i can’t say i find hawke’s version particularly inspiring either way. (i now laugh b/c i call it hawke’sversion of hamlet versus lurhmann’s version of r&j. where is the director? who is almereyda? directed…an episode of deadwood?)

*so i MUST pause here, as we have arrived at the play part. (i am clinging on to see jeffrey wright as the gravedigger, in hopes that he will redeem what is becoming an increasingly bad movie.) the play. or movie in this case. *sigh* i don’t even know what to say in response to that almodovar meets fellini meets donna reed tidbit. the high point is when hamlet leaves the theatre and jumps into the taxi with r&g and the cab meows at them. (i REALLY missed the fact the cabs don’t meow anymore and was totally disappointed the last time i was in NYC.)

*i do like ophelia’s mad scene in the guggenheim. the primal scream over the balcony was a genuinely nice touch.
OK…one last thought before moving on to other topics. looking at the cast list for hamlet, it all seems like a decent idea…with the exception of kyle maclachlan. (seriously, his most memorable movie role was in showgirls. he should thank sex in the city for redeeming him to some degree.) one the whole, it appears as though the director had only a vague idea of what he wanted and failed to fully utilize some of the talent he had at his disposal. only hawke and stiles (and diane verona as gertrude) seem to have a full grasp on the gravity of the content. so far, i give it a D.

2. graffiti. i have become increasingly aware recently of some of the graffiti appearing in my neighborhood. mind you, i am not talking about tagging.

i have noticed ‘give up’ for years. then, i noticed knitta…then the little tile pac-mans (who does that, by the way? i LOVE it.) i now have noticed the toothy ghost faces on windows…and on some signs and walls. and i must admit that, though more crude in style and destructive in medium, i think they are pretty cute. (want to see one? look closely at the ‘shoot em up’ posters plastered on the side of the convenience store catty-corner to brasil.) apparently, these ghosts are the work of ‘ack.’ i have not seen these new faces on private property yet, so some questions arise. especially in light of the new developments on ‘give up.’ i have seen two of his razor blades covered over with what appears to be…a rabbit? at first glance, it looked like a bunny. then, just a blob to obscure the blade…then, after seeing a similarly shaped blob over another razor blade, i think a bunny again…? in any case, it adds ‘never’ to the ‘give up’ mantra. interesting. and i must say, i am totally intrigued. i want to know more. if you live/work in the montrose/museum district area and you haven’t noticed these things, open up your eyes, friends! anyways, i find myself amused/interested/curious by all this, but i wonder where we draw the line. while i enjoy these little curiosities, i imagine they annoy others. and of course, i imagine city officials aren’t loving these additions to the urban landscape. so, where is the balance? i would like the feedback of my friends on this one. what are your thoughts?


~ by ladamesansregrets on September 10, 2007.

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