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Notes on King Richard Iii and Looking for Richard

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    Lady Anne scene – – “Presents Anne with an offer she can’t refuse” -Showing the references throughout with popular contemporary context to derive meaning -Anne mostly in the dark enhancing her incomprehension, camera turns away from her or shows only as body parts to frame Richard’s body “Was ever a woman in this humour wooed? Was ever a woman in the humour won? ” – assonance and expansive ‘o’ sounds as well as rhetoric and repetition “I’ll have her but I’ll not keep her long” intercuts of ‘Ha’ as well as an increased speed of cuts through this line – almost portrays Richard as mad – cut of him out of costume in rehearsal laughing – Seduction through language and sexual tension in Pacino’s version – low neckline in costume, attempted kiss- more recognised and understood by audience, romantic model of film – no diagetic sound – dissolving shots, superimposition – foreshadows their union series of dissolves, then cuts from one to another, then in same frame, then simulates the process of initial emotional distance and of gradual physical coming together Shakespeare – power struggle by lines – Anne hold most at start then they level out, beginning to mimic and rhyme – thee and thee, husband and husband, then Anne is reduced to stage directions such as ‘she spits at him’ – Opening Soliloquy- Shakespeare – reveals a brilliant and whity mind within a deformed body as a tool to foreshadow his evil plans and expose his immoral mind manipulative techniques of striking imagery and metaphors; “I that am not shaped of sporting tricks, nor made to court an amorous looking glass” -Shows deceptive way in which Richard interacts with the world -explores its operation portraying the working of Richard’s mind and the methods he uses to control and injure the others; “and descant on my own deformity… I am determined to prove a villain” – Pacino – intimate camera angles – cinematic illusion – head and shoulders – in Cloisters – lighting and use of shadows – easier to interpret meaning and within medieval context – candles + sunlight atmospheric music in enactments – Limitations of stage direction leave AP open for interpretations of tone and scene structure – “now… NOW… now is the winter of our discontent” – Shakespeare accentuates Richard’s deformity to emphasise that Richard was a threat and not a legitimate ruler during Elizabethan period and deformity signifies decay on the inside – “Cheated of feature by dissembling nature” – personification of nature as untrustworthy and unfair – steady cam / hand held camera – more involving and intimate – Ghost scene –anaphora, use of supernatural, flashbacks, voice over, fast cuts Richmond shown to be pious (praying) in bright red velvet costume, young, fair hair and low angled shots contrasting greatly to Richard’s stubbled, dark long messy hair, sleep apparel – “the battle is really the ghost scene” – becomes more of a nightmare in the film – diminished to conventional – audience would not appreciate the depth of scene due to the shift in values away from the supernatural – Close up of symbols of kingship (crown) – dissolved both in and out Swaying movement of camera for Richard and out of focus – shows inevitable demise while stable and clear for Richmond – perfect embodiment of medieval masculinity – Richard spits – frustration and loss of his ability to control emotion and language – fear of divine vengenance – formal language, repetition, balance and contrast depicts that Richards’ real opponent is God rather than mortals – “despair therefore, and die” – Prince Edward + ghosts – foreshawdows the mental, emotional and physical disparity that he is to undergo before he dies – “I shall despair.

    There is no creature loves me,/ And if I die no soul shall pity me. ” – “As snow in harvest” – Pacino – context reshapes the fear of divine justice to inner torment – quick edit cuts to characters he has committed crimes against creates a sense of sympathy as he is in a vulnerable position – high angle shots, blue lightning, eerie silences supports Richard’s inner darkness – context allows audience to be more sympathetic – complex psychological theories of 20th century – moral complexity while Shakespeare’s audience held a more simplistic Richard from their knowledge of history Battle Scene -startling effect of fade to white in combination to a sword sound and then the red filter – Wide shots of limited people in battle creates sense of space and diminishes the effect of it – anticlimactic along with the ease at which Richard is defeated – cut from Richards death at the battle field to scene of Pacino and Kimbell brings audience back into present – church bells reflects a new, positive reign and revisits the start of the film – creating the impression of a cycle – alluding to the idea that what was relevant in Shakespeare’s time is still relevant now and always will be inglorious death – removal of red lens and long shot – diminishes Richard’s strength and sense of power Family scene – Queen Elizabeth’s adverse reaction to the impending death of her husband, the king – her loud voice and a tone filled with anger and desperation, highlighted by her dialogue ‘The loss of such a lord includes all harms’ – foreshadows Richards evil reign – actors are seated around a table, arguing about the characterizations.

    Penelope Allen’s appearance of a dishelved women fighting for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth defines how heightened emotions transcend time – emotions are still very real and relevant – Uses several strong puns – irony; “what marry, may she? ” – marry – several connotations which echo and repeat River’s words underlining the strength of his feelings – Whity language techniques of Richard’s speech are used to his advantage to attack and empower making other characters seem weaker. Meeting of the Dons – Pacino’s cultural heritage – utilises fear and his context to help relate – makes the connection between Elizabethan times and today stressing that there will always be individuals who will betray others for power – Pacino shot in low angle shots, in and out of shadows – shot of Hastings half hidden behind the silhouette of Richard – “The truth is that those in power have total contempt for everything they promise, everything they pledge, and this is really what Shakespeare’s great play is really about. ” – “Those who love me, rise and follow me” – sesuras quicken pace, increasing the anxiety and utilising their fear

    Values- Shakespeare – integrity, honesty, loyalty and moderation Pacino – integrity, honesty, loyalty, empathy, equality and perseverance – The values of the texts parallel as they portray the timeless concept of human emotions and destruction within one’s self. Other – – Documentary – flexible medium, modern day analogies, enactments of key scenes – Shakespeare – language, style, character development, plot – both affected by contextualisation (societical, historical, cultural) -supernatural – prophetic curses/ dreams – Margaret – portrayal as mad in Pacino – association of Richard with devils/demons serves to heighten sense that Richard’s reign in innately evil – Seduction – Anne through language and in Pacino through physical seduction – the people through modesty and language – many faces of Richard similar to many different appearances of Pacino – in Shakespeare’s context shows the different forms evil can take to seduce, in Pacino’s it is everyday life – The Godfather Trilogy – Scorsese – editing – interspersed discussion, rehearsal and performance – light and sound – natural light in doco part, darkness and shadows in play – two faced – Pacino utilizes the 20th Century context through anachronisms to modernize he thematic value of Shakespeare Richard is extremely honest with himself and is capable of drawing out and exploiting other’s faults/weaknesses “Well, your imprisonment shall not be long” -Double meaning and dramatic irony and manipulation of Clarence’s trusting and loving nature – original idea that initiated each work is substantially different – ideas are complementary. – A comparison helps understand of power, dishonesty and revenge + Richard’s villainy and characterisation- Differences in perception and presentation reflect different contexts. “As soon as he gets what he wants… the emptiness. ” – shows consequence of suppressing humanity for power – no respect or love – “there is no creature loves me, / And if I die no soul shall pity me. ” – free will vs. Providentialism – “determined to prove a villain” – pun referring to the conflict between his free will and his destiny to be a villain – rhetoric, word play to seduce, moves beyond formal structure of traditional rhetoric to the compelling use of imagery, antitheses (contrasting words) express conflict and ambivalent attitude towards Richard, imagery, metaphors

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