spacetime coordinates: 16th – early 17th century LondonAnonymous is a 2011 political thriller film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by John Orloff. The film is a version of the life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, an Elizabethan courtier, playwright, poet and patron of the arts, and suggests he was the actual author of William Shakespeare‘s plays. It stars Rhys Ifans as de Vere and Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I of England. The effects crew “took 30,000 pictures in England, of every Tudor building they could find, and then they scanned them all into the computer and built real London in 1600.” (wiki)
The film was a box office flop and received mixed reviews, with critics praising its performances and visual achievements, but criticizing the film’s time-jumping format, factual errors, and the filmmakers’ promotion of the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship. (read more: controversy) imdb
William Shakespeare – Notes of a Lecture given
by Dr. Rudolf Steiner (On-line here)
spacetime coordinates: Venice, 1596
The Merchant of Venice is a 2004 romantic drama film based on Shakespeare‘s play of the same name. It is the first full-length sound film in English of Shakespeare’s play
The title character is the merchant Antonio (Jeremy Irons), not the Jewish moneylender Shylock (Al Pacino) who is the more prominent character. This adaptation follows the text, but omits much. Director Michael Radford believed that Shylock was Shakespeare’s first great tragic hero who reaches a catastrophe due to his own flaws. The film begins with text and a montage of how the Jewish community is abused by the Christian population of Venice and brings attention to the fact that, as a convert, Shylock would have been cast out of the Jewish ghetto in Venice.
(trivia) the bare-breasted prostitutes were not put in the film to make it more risqué, but rather to add a note of historical authenticity. Venetian law at the time required all prostitutes to bare their breasts because the Christian authorities were concerned about rampant homosexuality in their city.