Coriolanus – Ralph Fiennes and the text

I saw the Ralph Fiennes film version of Coriolanus while down in London this week.

It’s good and worth seeing, though it has some problems, and does quite a lot of violence to the text (though not the plot) in the service of cinema. I’ve written a short piece on the film which should hopefully be out soon.

I also have more than a draft of a longer piece on the play itself (see some brief comments on it here and especially here, and the comments of Cavell and Žižek). I’m still not entirely sure what to do with this, though I am tending towards saving the piece back for a bigger project.

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7 Responses to Coriolanus – Ralph Fiennes and the text

  1. A ‘working paper’, perhaps? At worst might just attract some commentaries / criticisms, at best can morph into some kind of edited volume or collaborative project…

    • stuartelden says:

      Thanks for this – yes, potentially. As you might have noticed I’ve been posting up material that is already published to share a bit more, though I’ve always been wary of ‘unfinished’ essays. Will think more on this. There should be a longer post on the bigger project I’m imagining at some point soon…

  2. Steve Mentz says:

    I saw the film too & blogged about it: http://www.stevementz.com/blog/?p=1543

    I seem to have liked it more than you did. Major cutting never really bothers me — the texts we have are somewhat arbitrary, and it seems fairly clear to me that the plays have been performed in very different versions since they were written. Thinking about territory, I might agree that the film’s close-up focus on individuals, esp their faces, might not have given you much to work with.

    • stuartelden says:

      Thanks Steve – interesting post on the film. I’m sure you’re right about cutting being a standard practice, and that the texts we’ve inherited are not definitive. I did think some of the material cut was unfortunate, for reasons I explain a little more in the longer piece I’ve written. But yes, perhaps I was hoping for a bit more of the ‘geopolitical’ to be in the film. I’ll keep an eye on your blog from now on – thanks again.

      • Steve Mentz says:

        Thanks, Stuart. I agree about some of the missing bits, esp my favorite line about Hecuba. Is that longer piece on the geopolitical in Coriolanus online?

        Btw, I found your blog, which I’ve been reading for a couple months, via Jeffrey Cohen, I think.

      • stuartelden says:

        Hopefully will be online shortly. Will post the link. It’s not a full piece, which will hopefully follow at some point. Thanks for reading!

  3. Pingback: At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean | Progressive Geographies

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