Saturday, October 13, 2012

Olivier's Richard 3 (1955) New York Film Festival 2012

Yes I own Olivier’s Richard 3 on DVD. I have the Criterion DVD, more for the extras than the film.

The film, a rather faithful version of the play, is good, but unremarkable. I know why it’s generally considered the red haired step child to Olivier’s Shakespearean film (Othello, Hamlet, Richard 5) There is a formalness to it, a stage boundness despite being opened up that keeps me from really liking it. For my money I’d rather see Ian McKellan’s version (and I’ll elaborate when a review runs in a couple of weeks).

The problem is that the costumes and many of the sets feel like costumes and sets. They feel like they belong more on the stage then on the screen. On the the other hand they do create a nice artificial spectacle that will look great on the big screen. The fact that they will look great big is enough to make me consider going to see the film when it runs on the last night of the festival at the Walter Reed.

The real interest in the film are some the behind the screen tidbits associated with the film. For example it’s the first film that was shown on TV on the same day it was released to theaters. The result was not a good one for the theater going audiences since some theater chains refused to show the film.

Is the film worth seeing? Yes. Is it worth seeing at the film festival? Only if you can't score a seat to the closing film Flight.

No comments:

Post a Comment