Surry Hills Library has DVDs!

15 Aug

That’s a bonus, and they have quite a good collection: free too, with up to ten being borrowed at any one time. Mind you, I will be still reading books. Yesterday I borrowed two DVDs, one being the BBC 1982 King Lear, which I had not seen for a while. I like it better than I originally did. This reviewer does not like it much, one complaint being the casting of an old man as The Fool: “No doubt this move was designed to contrast the other old fool, Lear, but the concept never pans out. Instead of the traditional impish youth, popping up here and there with jibes, gambols, flashes of merriment, and a venomous acid tongue of reproach for Lear’s lack of judgement, instead of what should rightly be the contrast between youthful wisdom and aged foolishness, we are presented with a doddering clown in mime make-up and a stupid hat. All the vivacity and exuberance vital to the impact of the Fool’s words are, once again, drained away by the BBC director with this misguided casting choice. Add to this the fact that the actor portraying the Fool seems tired, if not somewhat drunk. Again, the director is fully within his rights to present the characters as he sees fit; and again he has made what I feel is the wrong choice.” I find this choice really interesting, and I think it does work. Michael Hordern was a convincing Lear.

See King Lear Filmography for further available King Lear movies. I haven’t seen the 1998 one directed by Richard Eyre with Ian Holm as Lear. “After a hugely successful run on the London stage, Eyre recreated his production for the BBC and anyone not fortunate enough to have seen the original. Regan and Goneril have never looked more evil and Holm’s performance is chilling.” My coachee told me about it; I must try to get hold of it.

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One response to “Surry Hills Library has DVDs!

  1. Lisa

    August 16, 2006 at 12:20 pm

    Yeah – the Richard Eyre version is very good. Nice use of a red set and the grey on the girls is striking. One of the most powerful Lear videos I’ve seen. Though, two years ago, at the Bondi Pavilion I saw a rather tidy production of Lear that used a Japanese-type theme in costuming.

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