Ah, Shakespeare; the Bard; he of the golden quill. Scholars agree that no other man has had quite the amount of impact on the English language than he, the world's most famous playwright. He penned more words than you are probably even aware, often introducing them in the midst of sharp wit or heart-rending monologue.
Of course, just as important, though interestingly less often lauded, is the effect Shakespeare had on the world of storytelling, not least of which in the world of film, which is the subject with which we are naturally most concerned. The plays of the Bard are incredibly ripe for adaptation in so many diverse styles, whether as period pieces (Franco Zeffirelli's “Romeo and Juliet”), modernized (“O”), made anachronistic through modernization while keeping the original script (Baz Luhrman's “Romeo + Juliet,” Julie Taymor's “Titus”), adapted into chick flicks (“She's the Man”), or just completely overhauled (with lots and lots of nudity, a lá Peter Greenaway's “Prospero's Books”).
The newest adaptation on the scene is “Coriolanus,” based on the play of the same name, which will play at Village 8 Theater for a week as part of their Louisville Exclusive series. Ralph Fiennes (who makes his directorial debut with this film) stars as the titular character, a war hero who is banished from his country and so takes revenge by joining forces with the enemy. Anyone who knows Shakespeare knows that he wrote basically three genres of play, and as this is clearly not a comedy, nor a history, one can presume that it all gets pretty intense.
“Coriolanus” plays at Village 8 until next Thursday, May 10. Village 8 Theater is located at 4014 Dutchmans Lane. Further theater information and showtimes can be found at the theater's website.
Image: Internet Movie Database