Read This Before You Watch “Eve’s Bayou”

Writer-director Kasi Lemmons’s brilliant feature debut “Eve’s Bayou” (1997) is probably not actually a “horror film” as we usually think of them. Yes, there are supernatural elements, including ghosts, psychic visions, and voodoo curses, but those elements suggest we view the film as more of a Southern Gothic tale than as outright horror. The settingsContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “Eve’s Bayou””

Wrap Up of “Shakespeare in Love”

Thanks to all of you who joined our five-week exploration of “Secret Shakespeare: Covert Classics, vol. 1.” We’ve seen a nice range of movies, and I hope you’ve managed to learn a fair amount about Shakespeare’s enduring cultural influence. As you’ve discovered, without the frustration of having to actually read much Elizabethan English, the playsContinue reading “Wrap Up of “Shakespeare in Love””

Discussion Questions for “Shakespeare in Love”

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts: Let’s start with the title, “Shakespeare in Love.” How does this movie portray Shakespeare? What sort of a person is he? What are his strengths and weaknesses?  What are his hopes and desires? What are his darkest fears? Let’s continue with theContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “Shakespeare in Love””

Read This Before You Watch “Shakespeare in Love”

For our final week of “Secret Shakespeare: Covert Classics, vol. 1” we’re watching “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), a charming romantic comedy that imagines the setting and circumstances that might have caused Shakespeare to write Romeo & Juliet (1595-97). The story is partly inspired by the plot of that play, but in a backward, art-imitating-life sortContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “Shakespeare in Love””

Discussion Questions for “O”

This week we focus on exploring characters and characterization. Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts. We know that Odin James (Othello) is a star basketball player, but who is he as a person? What are his other defining characteristics? What are his hopes and dreams? What does heContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “O””

Read This Before You Watch “O”

We continue our “Secret Shakespeare” media studies series this week with “O” (2001), based closely on Shakespeare’s tragedy of Othello (1603). This movie is yet another high school film. That makes three out of four so far. Apparently, Shakespearean drama translates well to the teen experience of romantic turbulence and high passions. However, where “She’sContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “O””

Wrap Up of “She’s the Man”

Well, I hope you all enjoyed the frantic silliness of “She’s the Man” with its update of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. Did you catch the posters in the hallways of Illyria Prep announcing their high school production of As You Will? That’s the subtitle of the play and a nice, subtle nod to the sourceContinue reading “Wrap Up of “She’s the Man””

Discussion Questions for “She’s the Man”

Shakespeare’s plays are known for their soliloquies, long one-character speeches often delivered as “asides” where the character addresses the audience directly. This style of dialogue is not as popular now as it was in Shakespeare’s time, but it served the useful function of letting an audience know what a character is thinking and feeling. Below,Continue reading “Discussion Questions for “She’s the Man””

Read This Before You Watch “She’s the Man”

This week we continue the “Secret Shakespeare” media studies series with “She’s the Man” (2006), inspired by Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, or As You Will (1600). I wanted to include this movie because it’s a fun and fairly faithful adaptation, and also because it features some characteristic elements you find in a lot of ShakespeareContinue reading “Read This Before You Watch “She’s the Man””

Discussion Questions for “The Lion King”

For this week’s discussion questions about Shakespeare’s influence on “The Lion King” (2019), I will ask you to watch a few short video clips before you answer the questions. For your convenience, I’ve provided links to each video on YouTube. Note that you may need to view the videos more than once to get theContinue reading “Discussion Questions for “The Lion King””