Good Morning Lovelies, 

And how are all of you? Well I hope! I have come down with a cold and I am not happy! It is one of those horrible colds that make your throat feel itchy and dry, which is just awful! Completely and utterly awful! 

I am not going to let my cold win though lovelies, because the film world is still spinning and new news is still being released, including the brand new season being held at the BFI lovelies, all about Shakespeare on Film. 

With Sir Ian McKellen taking to the stage to talk about the new season, the event will see 18 British films, many of which that have been restored,  about the man and his plays travel the work, while the star will take to the stage to present a re-mastered ‘Richard III’ performance, go on iconic tours and open the Shanghai Film Festival. 

Speaking about the new season, Sir Ian McKellen said “400 years on, Shakespeare’s plays continue to dominate stages worldwide, mostly of course in translation, challenging actors, directors, designers and audiences. The BFI’s “Shakespeare on Film” is more than just timely; it is a glimpse of the matchless collection of brilliant endeavour from world-beating Shakespeare experts like Laurence Olivier, Peter Brook and Kenneth Branagh whose films have popularised Shakespeare over the years. Their theatre-roots are evident. They have respect for the text and cut lines with regret. Other directors have successfully translated the stage plays for the screen, aiming, perhaps to make great cinema than great Shakespeare. Here, I relish Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet; Julie Taymor’s Titus Andronicus; Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight, Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and Ran. And there are more. I will not be the only one to be grateful to the BFI for their initiative in this anniversary year.”

While, the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP said: “Shakespeare has influenced and inspired audiences around the world for centuries. As the BFI undertakes the most extensive film programme ever to celebrate his work, I’m delighted that even more people will have the opportunity to enjoy the legacy of Shakespeare. From new adaptations, to events and a tour through 110 nations, this bold new project will help us remember one the greatest writers of all time."

BFI Head Curator, Robin Baker said “No writer has had greater impact on cinema – or inspired more films. At the latest count, IMDb lists Shakespeare as the ‘writer’ of 1120 titles. For me the best adaptations of Shakespeare are those that have taken his themes, situations, characters or language and presented them in ways that are purely cinematic: from the immediacy of the epic, bloody battles of Branagh’s Henry V or Kurosawa’s Ran (King Lear) to the intimacy of the close-ups used in the love scenes of Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. Film and TV makes Shakespeare’s work more accessible than any other medium and the BFI National Archive looks after the world’s largest collection of film adaptations of his work so I’m delighted that so many of them are going to be shared with audiences across the world in cinemas, online and on DVD.”

As well, Briony Hanson, Director of Film, British Council comments “We are thrilled to present a selection of work from a tour of classic British feature films to a programme of newly commissioned shorts by female creative teams that all demonstrate Shakespeare’s enduring relevance as source material.  The Shakespeare on Film tour will be the most ambitious touring film programme that the British Council has ever offered and our aim is to ensure that Shakespeare Lives in each of the 110 countries in our network.” 

With so many great films being shown on screen around the country and world, the BFI Southbank will also be hosting a Silent Cinema event with a live score of many classics, as well as hosting previews and interviews with the cast of new TV shows based on the plays including Benedict Cumberbatch’s new show ‘The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, Henry VI Part One and Two’.

While online and in the BFI’s archives, there will be brand new films and exhibitions put on display for everyone to enjoy in April, including the showcasing of new film ‘Bill’. 

Look out for more news soon lovelies! 

Blog Soon, 
Joey X

To keep up to date with all the latest news from the blog, follow it on Twitter @LetsStartNow18 :)

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