Episode 16: Michael Almereyda's Cymbeline

We review Ethan Hawke & Ed Harris's Cymbeline (2014), a movie that wasn't well received when it came out, but may offer interesting insights into the Shakespearean play it adapts. Is it a flat production of a poor play, as many critics said, or a philosophically coherent interpretation of work that offers us surprisingly existential insights into the violence of the modern world? Join Aven, Mark, & John as they work through their reactions to this sometimes perplexing movie.

Episode 13: Slings & Arrows, Season 1 (Hamlet)

Aven & Mark introduce John to their favourite tv show about Shakespeare, Slings & Arrows, with Season 1 (2003). They discuss how it casts new light on Hamlet as a play and as a cultural force, its commentary on art and commercialism, Canada/US relations, and our connections to death--all while revelling in its deliciously funny dialogue.

Also check out John's writing about Shakespeare and about etymology.

Episode 12: Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet

All four co-hosts convene to discuss the classic Zeffirelli version of Romeo & Juliet, with its young co-stars, beautiful architecture, lush scenery and costuming, and evocative score. Jon, Aven, Mark & John elaborate on the cuts to the text, the emphasis on the political threat of the feuding families, the ridiculousness of considering this a love story to be emulated, and the developments in cinematography and editing evident in this iconic movie.

Episode 11: Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet

After a longer than usual break, we return with a longer than usual movie--and episode! John Kelly joins Aven and Mark to discuss this lavish, star-studded, and unabridged version of Hamlet. What is gained by filming the entire text? How does it enrich our understanding of Hamlet's character -- and does it make us like him more or less? To learn more about John Kelly and his work, visit mashedradish.com.

Episode 10: Orson Welles's Chimes at Midnight

Aven & Mark are joined by a guest host, John Kelly, to discuss Orson Welles's adaptation of several plays into the story of Falstaff. A stylish, moving, and fascinating piece of cinema, it gives us lots to discuss about the plays, the characters, and the Welles's connection to Falstaff himself. 

Episode 9: Verdi & Zeffirelli's Falstaff

We explore some of the history of opera in our discussion of this filmed version of Franco Zeffirelli's production of Verdi's Falstaff at the Metropolitan Opera. A comic romp with some lovely music and lavish staging, the show provides some interesting insight's into Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor, on which it's based.

Episode 8: Kenneth Branagh's Henry V

Join us this month as we watch Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, an excellent adaptation of this history play which proves startlingly relevant in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. His first movie as director, Branagh delivers a sharp and thrilling adaptation of the play.

Episode 7: River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves in My Own Private Idaho

In this episode, Mark, Aven, and Jon watch and discuss Gus Van Sant's 1991 indie classic My Own Private Idaho. A visually stunning and inventive movie, it incorporates the story of Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V into a tale about love and loss among the gay escorts in the Pacific Northwest.

Episode 5: Akira Kurosawa's Ran

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In this episode, Jon, Mark, and Aven watch and discuss Akira Kurosawa's 1985 movie Ran. A fusion of King Lear with Japanese history, Ran is an incredibly intricate, well-made, and bleak movie so rich with detail and reinterpretation that any discussion on it could last well beyond its nearly three-hour running time.

Episode 3: Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

In this episode, Aven and Mark show Jon one of their favorite movies, Kenneth Branagh's 1993 adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. The movie is by far the most traditional of the three they've watched, and also, the most charming.

Episode 2: 10 Things I Hate About You

In this episode, Aven and Mark watch one of Jon's favorite movies, 1999's 10 Things I Hate About You, for the first time. A modernized retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, the movie goes out of its way to address a lot of the somewhat problematic moments in the original.