Sunday, June 19, 2011

The King is Alive


Fascinating "version" of Shakespeare, suggested to me by a friend when I trumpeted that Throne of Blood by Kurosawa was the best non-Shakespeare Shakespeare play I'd ever seen. A group of tourists on a safari bus in Africa decide to stage a version of King Lear as they wait for rescue. Relationships break down, adultery and violence rages, all against a bleak Saharan backdrop and "narrated" by an elderly African man who watches the tourists disintegrate and comments on them. Jennifer Jason Leigh appears, among others.

Part of the Dogme 95 avant-garde filmmaking movement, whose rules known as the Vow of of Chastity are:
  1. Filming must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in. If a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found.
  2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. Music must not be used unless it occurs within the scene being filmed, i.e., diegetic.
  3. The camera must be a hand-held camera. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. The film must not take place where the camera is standing; filming must take place where the action takes place.
  4. The film must be in colour. Special lighting is not acceptable (if there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera).
  5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
  6. The film must not contain superficial action (murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)
  7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden (that is to say that the film takes place here and now).
  8. Genre movies are not acceptable.
  9. The film format must be Academy 35 mm.
  10. The director must not be credited.
Trailer is here.

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