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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I think I speak for everyone here when I say, 'Huh?'"
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June 30 2013

'Much Ado About Nothing': Joss Whedon's choices in his interpretation. speaks to Joss about his creative choices for Much Ado. So if you've been wondering about the snorkel then this would be the article for you.

This is a great article, I found it thoughtful and helpful. I had also loved Joss' comments about how people weren't looking at each other directly, but through barriers/windows (I'm not quoting... I can't remember exactly how he said it). There is a lot here worthy of study.
i can't believe this article had to add the requisite spoiler alert.
Why shouldn't it? Not everyone wants to know before hand how Joss filmed the movie.
So many of the interviews have been the same old questions over and over. This one was very refreshing, diving into things he hadn't discussed before in much detail.

Just saw the movie yesterday for the first time. Utterly delightful! I really hope Amy gets some long overdue attention for her performance.
The one part that threw me (and much of the audience I saw it with) was the "marrying a Ethiope" line, with an African-American woman right in the frame. I would be curious to hear the reasoning behind that, when I eventually buy the movie and listen to the commentary track. :)
chrisobrien, did you hear one of the characters groan at that line? I'm pretty sure I did. I think he included the woman in the shot because it actually makes it that much more obvious that the line is offensive. Then the groan adds to that as well, so that we can all laugh/roll our eyes at the Michael Scott-like gaffe (Joss has compared this moment to The Office's Michael Scott in interviews).
Thanks for posting this story--it makes me want to see the movie again, to catch layers I missed the first time around!
The one part that threw me (and much of the audience I saw it with) was the "marrying a Ethiope" line, with an African-American woman right in the frame

It's pretty clearly designed as a deliberate joke--Benedick rolls his eyes and groans when Claudio says it. It's a slightly complex move, though: the joke is a double one. I think it's only partially "OMG, Claudio's such a doofus!" but more "Wow, things sure have changed since Shakespeare's day, haven't they." We're moving between two different realms of reference--the one inside the world of the play and the other to the changed nature of the world in which the play was written. But I'm not sure it's entirely a successful move: our sympathy with Claudio is pretty brittle at that point (one of the great problems with the play in general), despite the fact that Fran Kranz has played the ghastly wedding scene about as brilliantly as I can imagine having it done. Clearly in Shakespeare's day the "Ethiope" line wouldn't be taken as suggesting anything amiss in Claudio's attitudes. I think giving us a "wait, so this dude's not only behaved like a brute to Hero, but he's a racist too!?" moment probably wasn't worth the payoff of the moment.

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