Michael Almereyda's Hamlet—an attempt at Hamlet

Magdalena Cieslak
2001 Cadernos de Tradução  
Michael Almereyda's film adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet is a unique combination of two approaches: commenting on both the play's stage/screen existence and its place in the global culture of today, and discovering such aspects of the play that have not been shown, or at least highlighted, before. On the one hand, Almereyda seems to be too aware of Shakespeare's position as a cultural icon and of the play's history of criticism and performance to believe that he can create an entirely new
more » ... an entirely new film version of Hamlet. Therefore, he chooses to acknowledge the achievements of his predecessors and refers not only to the iconography of Shakespeare on stage and screen but to various other cultural influences, from ancient sculpture and classical painting to popular cinema and high technology. Yet, on the other hand, the film attempts to update the play for our times and take on an original and innovative interpretation. Almereyda centres the film around Hamlet more clearly and intensely than any other recent film director, brings out the fatherson relationship and focuses on father figures (old Hamlet and Polonius), and casts a comparatively young actor for the role. Moreover, moving the action of the film to New York 2000, he saturates the film with media and technology, thus creating alternative worlds that enable him to develop the plot on various levels of cinematic reality. In my paper, I will discuss one of the most vital
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