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September 18 2012

Why you need a creative shift instead of a vacation, as explained by Joss Whedon. Another great interview from the Toronto International Film Festival.

What does he mean, "a Shakespeare purist would not be amused"? I was plenty amused.

Amazing interview, though. Joss's story at the end made me warm and fuzzy.

[ edited by grrarg on 2012-09-18 16:30 ]
Great interview! I hope to see Much Ado some day.
A purist wouldn't set Shakespeare in modern day and give characters iPads, is what the writer is saying. Nor approve of anyone who would. I'm not sure how many such purists actually exist.
Man, I need a vacation after reading about his not vacation
They modernize Shakespeare constantly in the theater. Also calling Brannagh a purist... His Much Ado isnt exactly pure and his Hamlet was modernized, to the XIX century, but modernized. And his Magic Flute wasnt exactly what Mozart envisioned. Im sure Brannagh wouldnt mind ipads on Billy Boy.
b!X, agree both with your definition of a Shakespeare purist, and doubts about how many of these mythical beings actually exist. Certainly Kenneth Branagh isn't one of them. His Hamlet is played in a 19th century setting.

I love a good period Shakespeare as much as the next person, with the pretty costumes and the flashing blades and all, but sometimes you have to take the play out of the familiar setting in order to make the words come alive again. Watch "Romeo and Juliet" with a bunch of goodlooking young men prancing about in tights and it's oh yeah, ho hum they're all going to die. Watch them dressed as gang members, carrying switchblades in a background of urban blight, and you get a sense of menace and understand the background of "civil unrest" that makes any hope of love impossible.

Well, that was a little digression there. I really, really loved the interview, and what Joss said about doing the Avengers sequel cause he thought he had more to say about these characters and hoped he could make a better movie. That's why he has the hordes of followers.
I'm only halfway through the article, but as a communications purist, I refuse to believe Joss said mediums to indicate more than one medium.

*turns to walk out of the room, nose in the air, slips and hits head on doorway*
Very nice interview. I can say, however, that I believe Ken Branagh would love this version. I've been in his official fan club for many years now, and while he loves Shakespeare, he's very open to changing things around. His Hamlet is not set in Will's era, his Love's Labours Lost is a 40's wartime musical, and I can't wait to see what he does with Lear. I think he and Joss should rent a hotel room for a weekend...I'd love to see what they'd come up with!
I don't follow the "purism" argumentation.
And I don't care about i-phones or the missing of i-phones in a Shakespeare production, if it's substantiated.

Dear Joss, I hope I could soothe your fear. Please never kill yourself for a movie.
@counti8: You are making an assumption on what Joss meant by "medium".

For all we know, during the interview he looked up to see an evil witch (with a crystal ball) about to jab pins in a Joss-voodoo doll, so he blurted out, "I love all mediums!"
@OneTeV: Or, he dove into a pile of t-shirts sorted by size and said, "I love all mediums!"

(mods: OK, I'm done here.)
I love the idea of Joss sitting in a London pub planning the Avengers sequel.

If there were any Shakespeare purists like that, I don't think any of them would think elaborate cinematography was necessary. More of the (stage) productions I've seen have updated the setting than not, including RSC ones. If anything I'm sure many Shakespeare purists will pay more attention to this because it's not traditional.
Watch "Romeo and Juliet" with a bunch of goodlooking young men prancing about in tights and it's oh yeah, ho hum they're all going to die. Watch them dressed as gang members, carrying switchblades in a background of urban blight, and you get a sense of menace and understand the background of "civil unrest" that makes any hope of love impossible.

I think it's more about whether it's done well or not than what the setting is. I've seen modern dress productions that were utterly yawn inducing and period productions that made your hair stand on end (and, of course, vice versa). In the end, "menace" is conveyed by the actors, not their costumes.
That was a gift, a gift from my wife who said, this is what you want to do. You donít want to travel. You want to do this. I remember thinking: Have I gone completely mad? Then, Iím shooting and I feel all the tension release from my body. It was amazing.


I take from this two lessons:
(1) Kai Cole knows her husband well.
(2) Kai Cole loves her husband well.
Impressive spousing.

[ edited by Pointy on 2012-09-18 23:37 ]
As an aside, what a gorgeous website! Lovely font, and the black and white photography and meticulous typesetting made this a delightful read.

Web be damned, there is good design out there.

Lovely article. And I agree, the thought of Joss sitting in a pub with a pint writing feverishly in a notebook with the smell of old-school india ink wafting up as he turned a page is a wonderful image I will treasure.
Joss' meals are fantastic. His story of the fish and chips and the pub reminds me of JKR writing Harry Potter in a cafe.
Joss has been known to write in coffee shops as well, correct? I guess some people like that background noise as they concentrate.
I know I liked white noise when working on essays in university...maybe it's a sign? I won an award for a history essay in sophomore year, so it works!

;P

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