This is a documentary directed by Al Pacino in 1996, having a very catchy tagline: “A four hundred year old work-in-progress.” The main benefit is that it shows how interesting Shakespeare can be, it’s a try to spread Shakespeare through the masses with the great movie actor star, Al Pacino. A good version of villain Richard, nice choice for the rest of the characters, exceptionally created. They even went all the way to England, to show us William Shakespeare’s bed and to let Frederic Kimball’s vivid imagination at work. Frederic Kimball did seem to have been Pacino’s friend at the time. The documentary was very good, so whatever influence had been exercised by Kimball, it was fulfilling.
A large cast took part in this almost classic representation of this drama. I never believed that Richard III is played more than Hamlet. For an ignorant, both plays sucks. Shakespeare’s verb is what keeps the spectator enthralled. The following actors played roles in the drama and had opinions in showing them to the production first and to the public after that, as themselves, so they were credited in both those functions: Al Pacino as Richard III, the director, the screenwriter, the producer and the soul of this, Penelope Allen as Queen Elizabeth, Harris Yulin (from 24, The million Dollar Hotel) as King Edward, Alec Baldwin as Duke of Clarence, Timmy Prairie as Prince Edward, Kevin Conway as Hastings, Larry Bryggman as Lord Stanley, the magnificent Kevin Spacey as the villainous Earl of Buckingham, Estelle Parsons as Margaret, Winona Ryder as Lady Anne, Frederic Kimball as Bishop of Ely (saw him on the credits list, otherwise I haven’t recognized him), Daniel von Bargen as Ratcliffe, James Colby as Lovel, Ira Lewis as Tyrell and not the least at all, Aidan Quinn as Richmond. This is not the whole distribution, only a part of the most acknowledged actors. The depicted period is in times when Pacino’s actual age could be considered Methuselah’mic. Richard the Third was killed in battle aged 32. Only Winona looks closer to her character. Princess Ann, Princess of Wales as the wife of Edward of Westminster and Queen of England as the consort of King Richard III, was 28 when she died. She was fourteen when she married Edward and 26 when she was crowned queen. Unfortunately not for long, she died in less than two years after that.
Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Kline, James Earl Jones, Rosemary Harris, Peter Brook, Barbara Everett, Derek Jacobi, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave were interviewed regarding Shakespeare, Richard the Third and generally acting the iambic pentameter. Brilliant and utterly recommended, you may take this documentary as an introduction to Shakespeare.
I wasn’t fond by the theatricality some actors put in playing Shakespeare. Here, near Al Pacino, a Shakespeare expert as Kimball said at a moment, Kevin Spacey was absolutely perfect in the role, as well as Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin and Aidan Quinn. I have very much enjoyed them, and I hope you’ll do it too.
looking for Richard is a 112′ documentary released in October 1996, and rated 7.2 out of ten, on imdb.
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