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The Shakespearean films of the 90s: Afterlives in transmedia in the 21st century

Sarah Hatchuel

Résumés

Il s’agira d’explorer ce que les films shakespeariens des années 90 sont devenus au vingt-et-unième siècle. Comment les montages des fans sur YouTube, les jeux vidéo et les réseaux sociaux se sont-ils approprié le Henry V de Kenneth Branagh ou le Hamlet de Franco Zeffirelli, et comment ont-ils interagi avec ces films ? Comment des acteurs comme Claire Danes, Maggie Smith ou Jonathan Rhys Meyers jouent-ils à présent avec l’intertexte de leurs anciens rôles shakespeariens ? Comment le développement des séries télévisées comme forme esthétique et narrative a-t-il influencé ces appropriations et ces effets de palimpseste ? Ces enjeux seront notamment abordés à travers les concepts de multimédia et de transfiction.

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1How are Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 Henry V, 1993 Much Ado About Nothing and 1996 Hamlet, Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo + Juliet, Richard Loncraine’s 1995 Richard III or Julie Taymor’s 1999 Titus revisited now through online multimedia? How has the rise of the internet, videogames and TV series influenced appropriations, fan vidding and ghosting effects? How do actors now play with the intertext of their previous Shakespearean roles? This essay explores the twenty-first century afterlives of the flood of UK/US Shakespearean films released in the nineties in the wake of Branagh’s 1989 commercially and critically successful Henry V.

  • 1 Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray, “Introduction”, in Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray, ed (...)

2As the last century drew to a close, the rush of films (see Plate 1) that were based on or inspired by Shakespeare’s play-texts generated, as Mark Burnett and Ramona Wray observed, “considerable speculation about Shakespeare’s marketability and cinematic appeal”,1 setting Shakespeare as a prominent figure in cinema and in the popular psyche.

Plate 1: Posters of Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 Henry V, 1993 Much Ado About Nothing and 1996 Hamlet; Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo + Juliet; Richard Loncraine’s 1995 Richard III; Julie Taymor’s 1999 Titus

  • 2 Ibid., p. 4.
  • 3 Samuel Crowl, Shakespeare at the Cineplex: The Kenneth Branagh Era, Athens, Ohio University Press, (...)
  • 4 Maurizio Calbi, Spectral Shakespeares: Media Adaptations in the Twenty-First Century, Houndmills, B (...)

3For Burnett and Wray, the Shakespeare films of the 1990s were “key instruments with which western culture confront[ed] the anxieties attendant upon the transition from one century to another” and “address[ed] the relationship of the filmic Shakespeare to millennial themes”. These fin-de-siècle films “glance[d] to the future as much as they look[ed] back”, using a “constructed ‘now’ to negotiate what [was] to come” and “raise questions about things past” in a nostalgic, romantic movement.2 A quarter of a century after the year Shakespearean films came out of art-house cinemas, we seem to have entered a post-“Shakespearean-blockbuster” era. Shakespeare’s plays are still vitally filmed, appropriated, quoted and revisited all over the world, but screen adaptations are now generally produced on lower budgets and scales and/or channelled through secondary, albeit transnational and digital, circuits of distribution. Even Joss Whedon’s 2013 Much Ado About Nothing, despite all the popular buzz around this famous bankable showrunner, is closer to Branagh’s black-and-white, intimate In the Bleak Midwinter (1995) than to Branagh’s own epic Much Ado twenty years earlier. What Sam Crowl called the “Shakespeare at the Cineplex” era or the “Kenneth Branagh” era seems to be behind us.3 As analysed by Maurizio Calbi, Shakespeare is now fragmented, spectrally mediated and experimentally disseminated in multi-layered, multi-mediatized afterlives on film, TV and the web.4

  • 5 Richard Burt, “All that Remains of Shakespeare in Indian film”, in Dennis Kennedy and Yong Li Lan, (...)

4However, this dissemination does not only concern “Shakespeare” in a variety of forms and media but the fin-de-siècle Shakespearean films in remediations of remediations. Shakespearean films have certainly been remediated in other films in the past: we just need to think of the aesthetics of Orson Welles’s 1952 Othello being appropriated in Ajoy Kar’s 1961 Saptapadi or in Claude Barma’s 1962 French TV Othello; or Welles’s 1965 Chimes at Midnight being the inspiration for Gus Van Sant’s 1991 My Own Private Idaho (see Plates 2, 3 and 4). As Richard Burt has argued,5 these remediations contributed to displacing Shakespeare’s “centre” from English theatre to American film since what is adapted is not only Shakespeare’s playtext but Shakespearean films.

Plate 2: Orson Welles’s 1952 Othello revisited in Ajoy Kar’s 1961 Saptapadi

Plate 2: Orson Welles’s 1952 Othello revisited in Ajoy Kar’s 1961 Saptapadi

Plate 3: Welles’s Othello revisited in Claude Barma’s 1962 French TV Othello

Plate 3: Welles’s Othello revisited in Claude Barma’s 1962 French TV Othello

Plate 4: Welles’s 1965 Chimes at Midnight and Gus Van Sant’s 1991 My Own Private Idaho

  • 6 Paul Booth, Digital Fandom: New Media Studies, New York, Peter Lang, 2010.
  • 7 Matt Hills, Fan Cultures, New York, Routledge, 2002.
  • 8 Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers. Television Fans & Participatory Culture, New York, Routledge, 1992 (...)

5Nevertheless, with the birth of social networks (such as Facebook in 2004 or Twitter in 2006) and new media platforms (such as YouTube in 2005), with the development of videogames and TV series as prominent aesthetic and narrative forms, the Shakespearean films of the 90s are now fragmented, quoted and deconstructed not only in other films but in a variety of media, by institutions such as theatre companies or broadcasting networks, or by individuals who interact parasocially6 and performatively with the materials to create videos that become sites of cultural negotiations.7 The films are “poached” (Henry Jenkins’ expression, borrowed from Michel de Certeau’s notion of “braconnage”8) as if they had become as canonical as Shakespeare’s plays, as if they were Shakespeare’s plays. The various elements of which the films are made – characters, soundtracks, images, actors – are being mined as if they had become fully autonomous and could be freed from the original film. They are recomposed creatively in ways that defy categories, and address not only the ideological faultlines of the films but also those of the world we live in. The reframing of pre-9/11 film adaptations speaks of how cultures now confront the third millennium in a more and more connected, capitalist and military world, at war less against a so-called “terror” than against citizens.

6In Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series of comic-fantasy novels, characters from famous books and those in “real life” can jump in and out of fiction. In Something Rotten (2004), the fourth book in the series, Hamlet is accompanying Literary Detective Thursday Next on an excursion to the “Outland”, out of his play’s fictive universe, to find out what people in the “real world” think of him. The following excerpt is a dialogue between Hamlet and Thursday:

  • 9 Jasper Fforde, Something Rotten (Thursday Next series), London, Hodder & Stoughton, 2004, p. 69-70.

‘I’ve heard that some people in the Outland think I am a dithering twit unable to make up his mind rather than a dynamic leader of men, and these “play” things you describe will prove it to me one way or the other.’
I tried to think of the movie in which he prevaricates the least.
‘We could get the Zeffirelli version out on video for you to look at.’
‘Who plays me?’
‘Mel Gibson.’ […]
Hamlet stared at me, mouth open.
‘But that’s incredible!’ he said ecstatically. ‘I’m Mel’s biggest fan!’
He thought for a moment. ‘So… Horatio must be played by Danny Glover, yes?’ […]
‘No, no. Listen: the Lethal Weapon series is nothing like Hamlet.’
‘Well,’ replied the prince reflectively, ‘in that I think you might be mistaken. The Martin Riggs character begins with self-doubt and contemplates suicide over the loss of a loved one, but eventually turns into a decisive man of action and kills all the bad guys.’ He paused for a moment. ‘Same as the Mad Max series, really. Is Ophelia played by Patsy Kensit?’
‘No,’ I replied, trying to be patient, ‘Helena Bonham Carter.’
He perked up when he heard this.
‘This gets better and better! When I tell Ophelia, she’ll flip – if she hasn’t already.’
‘Perhaps,’ I said thoughtfully, ‘you’d better see the Olivier version instead. Come on, we’ve work to do.’9

  • 10 Richard Saint-Gelais, Fictions transfuges : La transfictionnalité et ses enjeux, Paris, Editions du (...)

7Hamlet visits the real world, paradoxically, inside a novel, and discovers that he is being played by actors on stage and on screen. Fforde’s novel is both innovative in its metadramatic stance and conservative since it posits the “true” nature of a character transcending the embodiment by an actor or the interpretation by a reader/director/scholar at a given place and time in history. By offering an amusing twist and extension to the Hamlet story, Something Rotten may be linked to a form of “transfiction” defined by Richard Saint-Gelais as the phenomenon by which at least two texts, by the same author or not, jointly rely on the same fiction, whether through the return of characters, the extension of a preliminary plot or the sharing of a fictional universe.10 Transfiction postulates that characters may leave their preliminary fictive work to live their own lives in other stories and other media, suggesting that they do not belong to a single author or to one particular source.

8Strikingly, this literary extract conjures not only a play inside a novel, but the films of a play inside a novel. Hamlet comments upon the 1990 Zeffirelli version, spotting intertextual citations and ghosting effects. Mel Gibson, indeed, exported the 1980s Mad Max and Lethal Weapon series into the 1990 Hamlet, and then brought Shakespearean overtones to his 1995 Braveheart. The excerpt is prompt to identify the Zeffirelli-Gibson film as closest to the character’s true “essence” before reasserting the 1948 Olivier version as ultimately the safest and recommended viewing. The novel’s illustrations portraying the “real” Hamlet strongly recall Laurence Olivier (see Plate 5), thus partaking in the idea that Olivier’s film constructed audience’s expectation of what Hamlet should look like, although Gibson is claimed to be the Hamlet who least betrays the “original”. Something Rotten takes part in a trend where not only the Shakespearean plays but their screen adaptations have turned into objects of quotations, remediations and transfictionalization, and where the films of the 90s are presented as guides to reach the knowledge of Shakespeare’s intent or his characters’ personality.

Plate 5: Hamlet in Something Rotten (Fforde, 2004) and Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (1948)

9The Shakespearean films may first be mined for their famous actors who gave such memorable performances of the characters that they continue to embody the Shakespearean figures outside the movies themselves. The “Hamlet Gone Viral” video was created for a senior English project and published on YouTube on 30 May 2012 under the pseudonym “layen3” (see video “Hamlet Gone Viral” here: https://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=5gp4TP9kpP4 and here).

10It tells the whole Hamlet story from the point of view of the Danish prince, using websites like Facebook, Google, Tumblr, Twitter, Yahoo, MSN, and YouTube. As we watch the video, we become Hamlet, following his actions through his eyes as he consults his Facebook wall, updates his Facebook status, creates events such as “The Mousetrap”, receives photo albums, writes private messages, discovers the news of his father’s death on Yahoo, receives the wedding news on Gmail, finds a flight from Wittenberg to Elsinore via Google, stores his personal thoughts and pictures on a password-protected Tumblr page, reads what Claudius and Gertrude publicly release on Twitter, finds ideas on the internet on how to perform madness or reveal a person’s guilt. As we follow Hamlet’s online journey, the sound of the typing, the indecision in the writing of messages to Ophelia (“I do love you” being immediately erased and becoming “I did love you” then “I don’t love you” and finally “Go to a nunnery!!!!”) or the hesitation in clicking “accept” after receiving Laertes’s challenge, create a real-time feeling in a video that reflects, in both a humorous and moving way, the ambiguities and contradictions at the heart of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

11Remarkably, the protagonists’ Facebook profiles use the faces of actors from two film adaptations: Gregory Doran’s 2009 RSC/BBC2 version and Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 cinematic endeavour. If images of Hamlet (David Tennant), Horatio (Peter De Jersey) and Laertes (Edward Bennett) are taken from Doran’s, faces of Claudius (Derek Jacobi), Gertrude (Julie Christie), Ophelia (Kate Winslet) and Polonius (Richard Briers) are mined from Branagh’s, thus creating a mixed cast where the two films’ worlds are merged. Other Facebook adaptations of Hamlet posted on YouTube actually use Mel Gibson in Zeffirelli’s film.11 In the video “Hamlet Gone Viral”, the characters from the films seem to have jumped out of their stories, thus tending to confirm Francesca Coppa’s claim that fan fiction in general “develops in response to dramatic, not literary, modes of storytelling”, “direct[ing] bodies in space”, taking “something three-dimensional and then produc[ing] an infinite number of scripts”.12 The “Hamlet Gone Viral” script not only offers an original twist on the characters but also gives them more “reality” in a fiction that imitates real life through the use of social networks, reflecting the play’s themes of surveillance and spying (especially since the NSA spying programme was uncovered in 201313). The music for the video is in synch with this idea of private lives made accessible to everyone: it is taken from Burkhard Dallwitz’s original soundtrack for the film The Truman Show (dir. Peter Weir, 1998) in which an insurance salesman discovers his entire life has been organised as a TV show watched by millions of people throughout the world.

12In “Hamlet Gone Viral”, the Hamlet story is retold by using two film adaptations and then connected to how we actually experience the world now, through internet services and social interactivity. The author of the video claims that “While company logos were used to add a realistic touch to this video, NO fake accounts, users, or web pages were made in its creation. The original websites were used as references and then re-created in Adobe Photoshop.” Despite the disclaimer, the actors-characters certainly become real fakes or faked realities. Derek Jacobi does not play Claudius – he is Claudius, with his Twitter, email and Facebook accounts that proclaim individuality and uniqueness – a full merger of the actor, the role and the character, that constructs a fictional identity.

13Paradoxically, the creation of this merged fictional identity relies on a process that dissociates and frees the characters from their original films. Other appropriations, either endorsed by institutions or released by individuals, have taken the soundtracks from the films or from their trailers, associating them with other images and producing new meanings.

14A video entitled “Hamlet trailer – Lion King” (see video “Hamlet trailer – Lion King” here: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=6Pyt_5rThaY and here), released on YouTube by a certain “Lamporre” on 3 May 2010, uses the soundtrack from the official trailer of Branagh’s Hamlet and grafts it on images from the animated film The Lion King (dir. Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff for Walt Disney Pictures, 1994).

  • 14 Jan Hollm, “Streamlining Multicultural Feminism: Shakespearean Traits in Disney’s The Lion King”, i (...)

15Shakespearean scholars have already addressed The Lion King as Disney’s take on Hamlet in many essays,14 but the video constitutes criticism in action. It not only presents The Lion King as an appropriation of the Hamlet narrative (with Mufasa/Old Hamlet betrayed and killed by his brother Scar/Claudius and then revenged by Simba/Hamlet) but also parodies the original Hamlet trailer, deconstructing its aesthetic and ideological features.

  • 15 The text delivered on the soundtrack is “Castle Rock Entertainment proudly presents Hamlet, the mos (...)

16As the Castle Rock Entertainment promotional soundtrack15 with the traditional deep and dramatic male voice is superimposed on images of a Disney animated film featuring wild animals in Africa, the rhetoric that celebrates “Englishness”, the pride of the white-male canon and the glory of “high” literature (as opposed to pop culture) suddenly crumbles. When the soundtrack advertises the film’s “distinguished international cast” and lists all the actors’ names, the YouTube video plays with the notion of “distinguished cast” by associating each actor with his/her animal counterpart. Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie and Kate Winslet all become lions, the video reasserting the actors’ Englishness by recalling the Royal arms of England and associating English acting with the kings among animals/actors (see Plate 6).

Plate 6: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King (dir. Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff for Walt Disney Pictures, 1994)

17Robin Williams and Billy Crystal respectively become the bird Zazu (originally voiced by Roman Atkinson) and Timon (originally voiced by Nathan Lane), thus respecting their comedic backgrounds and clownish presence in the film (see Plate 7).

Plate 7: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King

18Richard Attenborough’s age and experience are emphasised through his association with the old and wise monkey (see Plate 8).

Plate 8: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King

19In a more disrespectful (and funny) fashion, Charlton Heston becomes the farting hog Pumbaa and Jack Lemmon one of the villainous hyenas (see Plate 9).

Plate 9: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King

20Gérard Depardieu and John Gielgud are pictured as elephants to what seem different effects: Gielgud may be posited as a revered giant while Depardieu’s gargantuan appetite for life is highlighted (see Plate 10).

Plate 10: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King

21The discrepancy between what is said and what is shown contributes to put to the fore and unveil the aesthetic features of the original trailer: the regular teasing fades-in and fades-out that offer glimpses of events only to make the spectators want to see more, the screaming and pounding that attempt to turn Hamlet into a basic thriller, the sweeping shots of marching figures to create an epic feeling (with migrating gnus and zebras replacing Fortinbras’ soldiers, see Plate 11), the characters appearing from the mist to add mysterious awe to the scene (see Plate 12), the fast editing that mixes love, horror, action and suspense, and last but not least the romantic focus on the director/adaptor/actor as ultimate auteur (see Plate 13).

Plate 11: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King

Plate 11: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King

Plate 12: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King

Plate 12: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King

Plate 13: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet and from The Lion King

  • 16 John Fiske, “The Cultural Economy of Fandom”, in Lisa A. Lewis, ed., The Adoring Audience: Fan Cult (...)

22In this video, both Disney’s 1994 The Lion King and Branagh’s 1996 Hamlet are envisaged as fan texts, that is to say, according to John Fiske, cultural products whose own insufficiencies and faultlines make them ideal material for appropriation and reworking by fans.16 Fan texts are “open” texts, containing unresolved elements and contradictions which encourage fan productivity. It may be precisely The Lion King’s commercial denial of its Shakespearean ancestry as well as Castle Rock’s rather forced attempt to present Branagh’s Hamlet as a bankable epic that make both works “open” to transgressive video-making (or “vidding”) by fans. The Hamlet/Lion King video discloses, intentionally or not, the discursive choices in the two original works.

  • 17 Peter Holland, “Performing Shakespeare for the Web Community”, in Alexander C.Y. Huang and Charles (...)

23Since 2008 and its Hamlet production featuring “Dr-Who”-David Tennant, the Royal Shakespeare Company has produced and released trailers on YouTube. Paradoxically, the RSC promotes the experience of live theatre with the marketing codes of mainstream cinema, what Peter Holland has called “the clipped, fragmented world of trailers and teases, those texts that so fascinatingly allude to the as yet unseen text”.17 The trailer for the 2011 Macbeth production directed by Michael Boyd and featuring Jonathan Slinger as Macbeth and Aislin McGuckin as Lady Macbeth, was released by the RSC on YouTube on 7 March 2011 (see video “Royal Shakespeare Company: Macbeth trailer” here: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=mdIMzdm_neM&noredirect=1 and here).

24It imports film trailers’ aesthetics in its dark titles, close-ups, angle shots, mysterious unveiling, non-diegetic music and male voice-over – a voice-over that delivers Macbeth’s speech from ii.ii after he has murdered Duncan:

Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more,
Macbeth does murder sleep’ – the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care, […]
Still it cried ‘Sleep no more’ to all the house,
‘Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more.’
Macbeth, ii.ii.33-41

25The images of hanged or cadaver-like children announce a stage production based on the horror genre and serial-killer movies, where the Witches are replaced with children, evoking both the Macbeths’ barren marriage and the slaughter of Macduff’s family.18 More particularly, the RSC trailer recycles the musical piece entitled “Slow Movement” originally composed by Craig Armstrong for Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo + Juliet, a recycling that YouTube viewers have spotted in their comments.19 This piece of music was played during the two lovers’ death scene: Romeo drinks the poison at the very moment when extreme close-ups of Juliet’s eyes reveal that she has finally woken up (see video “1996 Romeo and Juliet” here: http://www.YouTube.com/​watch?v=8GDd83IQDxw&noredirect=1 and here).

As it appropriates the soundtrack of this 1996 scene, the 2011 RSC trailer imbues Macbeth with renewed pathos, emphasizing the untimely death of young ones and the out-of-sync components of the tragedy. The trailer grieves for Macduff’s children just as Luhrmann’s film grieved for the star-crossed lovers. The “murder sleep” speech in voice-over is also echoed by music recalling a journey from Juliet’s slumber to the lovers’ death.

  • 20 Chorus. Two households, both alike in dignity
    In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
    From ancient gr
    (...)

26The Romeo + Juliet soundtrack has often been mined for use in official programmes (television shows such as X Factor in the UK, for instance) and in fanvids. The video “William Shakespere’s [sic] Devil May Cry” (see video “William Shakespere’s Devil May Cry” here: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=Ag_Iy6t0S4w and here), posted by “psylentknight” on 27 October 2006, pays homage to the successful Japanese Gothic/fantasy series of combat videogames Devil May Cry (developed from 2001 to 2008 by Hideki Kamiya at Capcom for PlayStation 2) by mixing images of the DMC game with features of Romeo + Juliet’s opening scene – Pete Postlethwaite’s voiced-over prologue,20 the rhythmic inter-titles where some of the letters “T” are replaced with crosses, and the epic music track “O Verona” inspired by “O Fortuna” in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.

27In Devil May Cry, the main character Dante fights against his brother Virgil and attempts to save the world from exterminating demons in long chains of fast attack and highly stylized combat. In the fanvid, the fast editing of the Devil May Cry images reproduces the aesthetics of the Romeo + Juliet opening. The giant statue “Saviour” (one of the game’s “bosses”, i.e. enemies) echoes the film’s evocation of Christ the Redeemer (see Plate 14).

Plate 14: Screen grabs from Devil May Cry (Hideki Kamiya at Capcom for PlayStation 2, 2001-2008) and from Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo+Juliet

28The focus on weapons and stylised fights recalls the confrontations between the Montague and Capulet boys as they leapt and used several weapons in frenzied moves à la John Woo (see Plate 15).

Plate 15: Screen grabs from Devil May Cry (Hideki Kamiya at Capcom for PlayStation 2, 2001-2008) and from Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo+Juliet

29Finally, the characters (Dante, Virgil, Lady, Arkham, Jester, Nevan, Sparda) are presented as in the film, with a freeze and a first-name caption (see Plate 16).

Plate 16: Screen grabs from Devil May Cry (Hideki Kamiya at Capcom for PlayStation 2, 2001-2008) and from Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo+Juliet

30The fanvid acknowledges Luhrmann’s debt to shoot’em-up and hack’n-slash videogames as well as Devil May Cry’s own Shakespearean motifs (see Plate 17).

Plate 17: Screen grab from Devil May Cry 4

31Some game sequences actually quote the plays (with Dante’s line “The rest is silence” in DMC421) and mimic Shakespearean speech or imagery.22 Just as Luhrmann’s film was entitled William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, the fanvid’s title “William Shakespere’s Devil May Cry” (see Plate 18), despite its archaic spelling of the poet’s name, not only points to the fact that the videogame owes a debt to Shakespeare, but also credits Shakespeare as the author of the game (or rather its edited, “Shakespeared” version), playing on authority and bringing cultural value to a generally denigrated art form.

Plate 18: Screen grab from fanvid “William Shakespere’s Devil May Cry”

URL: https://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=Ag_Iy6t0S4w

Through the remediation of the 1996 Romeo + Juliet opening, the vid strives to reach authenticity as if Luhrmann’s film offered a direct path towards Shakespeare the “original”. The fin-de-siècle film, as a cult movie of the last century, conveys “definitiveness” and serves as a surrogate for “original Shakespeare”.

32The relation between Asian videogames and Shakespeare has also thrived with Mabinogi, a multiplayer online role-playing game, loosely based on Irish mythology, developed by devCAT studio from 2004 to 2010 and released by South Korean company Nexon.23 Its “Generation 13” update includes the realm of Avon based on Stratford-upon-Avon. The fan-made encyclopaedia of the Mabinogi world describes the game character of William Shakespeare as “a great historical artist and a prophet that wrote many plays including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and The Story of Golvan” and “staged events that would lead to The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth”.24 The presence of Shakespeare (and unknown dramatic works) in the game’s fantasy world plays with the idea of Shakespeare’s lost years and lost plays. In the game, this fantasy Shakespeare can also enter the world of his own plays and alter the scripts from the inside (recalling the concept of Jaspor Fforde’s Thursday Next novels). In the Mabinogi world of Hamlet, the “To be, or not to be” sequence (see video “Mabinogi: Hamlet – ‘To be, or not to be’ Scene One” here: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=VjpNMJ4bXMA and here) is of particular interest since it cites not only Shakespeare’s Hamlet but also Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

33As the digital figure of a bleach-blond Hamlet, dressed up in black, delivers his soliloquy in front of a mirror (see Plate 19), one cannot but see an adaptation of Branagh’s “To be, or not to be” scene in which Hamlet speaks in front of a two-way mirror behind which Claudius is hiding (see Plate 20).

Plates 19 and 20: Screen grabs from Maginobi video and from Branagh’s Hamlet

URL: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=VjpNMJ4bXMA

34In the Mabinogi sequence, the words are Shakespeare’s except for the sentence “A single swing of the sword could end this torment”, spoken as Hamlet breaks the mirror with his weapon, going beyond the gesture of Branagh’s Hamlet who draws his dagger but does not use it against the glass. Strikingly, the moment when the words depart from Shakespeare’s text is also the moment when the sequence is unmoored from Branagh’s film – as if Branagh’s Hamlet was so closely associated with Shakespeare’s “original” that one cannot abandon one without moving off the other.

35This recycling of Branagh’s “To be, or not to be” sequence also seems uncannily to reveal the repressed subtext of the 1996 film. As the game sequence supernaturally divides Hamlet from his own reflection (see Plate 21), the mirror image is rendered autonomous and turned into Hamlet’s dark nemesis: Hamlet’s reflection then comes to stand for Derek Jacobi’s Claudius hidden behind the mirror in Branagh’s film.

Plate 21: Screen grab from Maginobi video

  • 25 Courtney Lehmann and Lisa S. Starks, “Making Mother Matter: Repression, Revision, and the Stakes of (...)
  • 26 Ibid.

36In their 2000 essay, “Making Mother Matter: Repression, Revision, and the Stakes of ‘Reading Psychoanalysis Into’ Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet”,25 Courtney Lehmann and Lisa Starks notice the “pronounced resemblance Branagh creates between his Danish prince and Jacobi’s Claudius” with the same slim physique and bleach-blonde hair cut, somehow betraying Branagh’s “desire to be like Jacobi – to be, in effect, his ‘natural’ son”. Mabinogi seems to unveil what Branagh’s film attempted to conceal, its director’s identification and “fascination with Jacobi, the ‘father’ which, in more ways than one, he must ‘kill’”. In the 1996 film, the mirrors contributed to keep “the viewer’s attention hostage to the sparkling surface”26 and deny incestuous or homoerotic overtones in the Hamlet character. Ironically and perhaps revealingly, in Mabinogi, it is through the mirror that the return of the repressed takes place. Moreover, this Manga-like Hamlet with long hair, big eyes and androgynous silhouette (see Plate 22), queers Branagh’s image of a heterosexual Hamlet.

Plate 22: Screen grab from Maginobi video

37If the choices of mise-en-scène in Branagh’s Shakespearean films have influenced other media, the films have in turn been re-made and updated following the now prominent narrative form of TV series, especially the aesthetics of the split-screen. A dozen YouTube videos27 released in the Spring of 2009 under the very Shakespearean pseudonym “tediousoldfools” literally reframe Branagh’s Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V by showing several scenes at once in three “windows” of different sizes. The biggest frame hosts a musical scene (for instance, the “Non Nobis” sequence in Henry V) or a key soliloquy (“To be, or not to be”, “Tis now the witching time of night” or “How all occasions do inform against me” in Hamlet), working as a “‘narrative’ close-up”28 and turning the other scenes into subplots which emotionally inform, back up and feed the scene in focus (see Plate 23).

Plate 23: Screen grabs from Branagh’s Hamlet

38The split-screen technique, which recalls other traditions of multiple-frame art from the medieval polyptych to comic books, was made famous, at the very start of the twenty-first century, by TV series 24 (Fox, 2001-2010, see Plate 24), in which each season of 24 episodes, in a thrilling illusion of real time, traps us in a claustrophobic time-span of 24 hours as CTU Agent Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland) attempts to save the USA from major terrorist threats.

Plate 24: 24 (Fox, 2001-2010)

  • 29 Ibid., p. 130.
  • 30 Deborah Jermyn, “Reasons to Split Up: Interactivity, Realism, and the Multiple- Image Screen in 24(...)

39According to Monica Michlin, the multiple frames draw our attention to screen monitoring and surveillance, and “to framing and ‘setting up’ in the other, conspiracy-related meaning of the term”29, reminding the spectators “that all subplots must converge” and inviting them, according to Deborah Jermyn, “to embrace the act of editing for themselves” (see Plate 25).30

Plate 25: Screen grabs from 24

  • 31 Michlin, op. cit., p. 121.
  • 32 Ibid., p. 128.

40In 24, the split-screen may appear, therefore, “as either a window out onto subplots, or as a net within which both Jack and the viewers are caught”,31 a web of images “connected rather than separated by the ‘lines’ that crisscross the TV screen” (see Plate 26).32

Plate 26: Screen grabs from 24

  • 33 Michael Allen, “Divided Interests: Split-Screen Aesthetics in 24”, in Steven Peacock, ed., Reading (...)

41Michael Allen also explored the space or “gutter” between the frames in 24 as indicating spatial or emotional distance (see Plate 27).33

Plate 27: Screen grabs from 24

42This gutter comes to signify, in the multiple-frame fanvids of Branagh’s films, a gap in time between the different scenes but also, paradoxically, their connections in the construction of the whole tragic arc, while encoding the Shakespearean play-texts’ ontological incompleteness, their ellipses and ambiguities, missing pieces and puzzles, which are always there to be filled or solved in performance by actors and directors (see Plates 28 and 29).

Plates 28 and 29: Screen grabs of Branagh’s Hamlet

  • 34 Steven Peacock, “24: Status and Style”, in Peacock, ed., op. cit., p. 26-27 [p. 25-34].
  • 35 Michlin, op. cit., p. 128.
  • 36 Janet McCabe, “Damsels in Distress: Female Narrative, Authority and Knowledge in 24”, in Peacock, e (...)

43Just as 24 plays on the sense of simultaneity and on the “assumed liveness” of broadcast on television as if all the “events [were] […] happening now”,34 the fanvids imbue Branagh’s films with 24’s sense of perpetual emergency and high-paced, action-packed scenarios, while tending to glorify the male protagonist. In 24, as Michlin suggests, “What might have appeared as centrifugal – windows opening onto another [scene] – turns centripetal, and brings us back to Jack”.35 Similarly, the fanvids generally focus on Branagh’s Henry or Hamlet as the star and “narrative power-centre”, around whom everything gravitates.36

  • 37 Alan Sinfield, Faultlines: Cultural Materialism and the Politics of Dissident Reading, Oxford, Clar (...)

44Alan Sinfield has argued that “Shakespeare is a powerful cultural token, such that what you want to say has more authority if it seems to come through him. […] [T]he plays have been continuously reinterpreted in attempts to coopt the bard for this or that worldview”.37 But the worldviews conveyed by some of the videos on YouTube are far from clear, to say the least. A “video tribute of the Iraq War” (see video “St. Crispian Speech in Iraq+Shakespeare” here: https://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=JydQ6GtUnEo and here), released on 28 April 2007 by “mgminer111”, poaches Branagh’s delivery of the St Crispin’s Day speech in Henry V and applies it to photos and moving images of the war in Iraq.

45Branagh’s voice is also (almost completely) detached from Patrick Doyle’s original score and mixed, instead, with the soundtrack of Zack Snyder’s 2007 300, a fantasy/action film retelling the Battle of Thermopylae. This film’s score caused controversy because of its conspicuous borrowing from Elliot Goldenthal's 1999 score for Taymor’s Titus. The 300 martial track “Returns a King”, used in the video tribute, was so similar to the cue “Victorius Titus” that Warner Bros. Pictures had to release an official statement and settle the matter amicably with the composer.38 The video tribute appears, therefore, as the poaching of a poaching, merging the sounds of two Shakespearean films of the 90s – Branagh’s Henry V’s voice track and Taymor’s Titus’s music track – in what stands as an ideological mishmash. Below the posted video, its author claims that “Henry V St. Crispin Speech takes on a whole new meaning”, although this “new meaning” is not made explicit.

46The Henry V/Titus soundtrack is superimposed on pictures of the US army invading Iraq during the “Shock and Awe” operation in 2003, showing tanks; whole regiments; armed soldiers; marches in the sand; troop rallies; soldiers saluting coffins covered by the US flag; stealth planes; bombings; missiles; explosions seen from the planes or broadcast on live news; houses being broken into; destroyed streets; wounded soldiers; soldiers carrying bodies, taking prisoners or shedding tears; fire and devastation; cemeteries with their white crosses and stars; casks and rifles; wounded and maimed civilians; dead children; pools of blood. The video seems to move from a cry for war to a denunciation of its atrocious outcome for both US soldiers and Iraqis. After being viewed 36,000 times, it has generated a plethora of fiery comments raising issues of nationality, war legitimacy and governments’ accountability. Does the video consider Shakespeare’s speech as unequivocally pro-war? And, if so, does it attempt to offer an ironic counterstatement of it? The result is highly mystifying. Adding to the confusion, Patrick Doyle’s swooning and glorifying melody for Branagh’s Henry V reappears at the exact moment when the video strives to make an unambiguous anti-war statement with a quick montage of images of destruction and pain.

47Since the video uses an English speech written for a play about England invading France, it spurred debates over its use in a US context. In the YouTube comments reacting to video, we find the following thread:

“Just a touch disrespectful to use a very famous patriotic ENGLISH speech for Americans. Might have been ok if British troops were included in the video.”
“...this is the St. Crispin Day speech from SHAKESPEARE’S TIMELESS CLASSIC Henry V.....although it recounts the tale of the British invasion of France......the actual speech itself was made up by Shakespeare......the speech is not just an English speech....it's a speech to rally the troops......and it’s been used by others in the past to rally troop morale”

48While these comments raise issues of national pride and interrogate Shakespeare’s cultural adaptation, “universality” and “glocality”, they also blur the boundary between the idea of an “original” Shakespearean speech and Branagh’s delivery in a 1989 film that makes war at once disgusting and heroic, hellish and glorifying, repulsive and attractive. In a heartening way, comments also questioned the military and political logic of relating the St-Crispin’s Day speech to the situation in Iraq:

“Technically, seeing as though the US military was so amazingly more powerful and numerous than the remnants of the Iraqi army […], shouldn't this video be showing THE IRAQIS? The whole reason for the speech from Henry V was due to the fact that they were VASTLY outnumbered by a superior army.”
“How the hell does someone equate Henry V with Iraq War? I almost find the notion offensive. Poor undermanned ill-equipped American armed forces? […] Patriotism I can understand, but this is just moronic.”

49The debate also tackled the legitimacy of war and governments’ accountability by acknowledging the ambivalence in Shakespeare’s play with its succession of differing scenes:

“It’s a pity that the glorious rousing speech is used, ignoring the scene beforehand where the king questions the futility of war and the sacrifice of the common soldier. There is more to this speech than glory.”
“In the scene before this in Henry V, it was said among the soldiers that if the cause (of the war) be not good, then the king himself shall have a heavy reckoning [...] If these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it. Do you read Shakespeare, Mr Blair, Mr Bush?”

  • 39 The sequence can be read as yet another way of conflating Branagh’s St Crispin’s Day speech with th (...)

50George W. Bush may not have read Shakespeare, but television showrunners certainly watch Shakespearean films. How else can we account for the fact that Branagh was offered to recreate Colonel Tim Collins’s speech to the first Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment on 19 March 2003, just before the invasion of Iraq, in 10 Days to War, a 2008 series of eight ten-minute dramas marking the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq? In the third episode of the series, as Branagh (playing Collins) promises the soldiers who “do not wish to go on that journey” that he will not “send them” (see video “Col Tim Collins’ inspirational speech – Kenneth Branagh” here: http://www.YouTube.com/​watch?NR=1&v=UpdeNcH1H8A&feature=endscreen and here), the speech echoes his role as Henry V delivering “he which hath no stomach to this fight, / Let him depart” in the St Crispin’s Day speech (iv.iii.35-36).39

51We could also mention Branagh’s Wallander (BBC, 2008-) as yet another gloomy Scandinavian and existentialist detective (see Plate 30); on Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s role as rapist Chiron in Taymor’s Titus (see Plate 31), which ghosted his performance of Henry VIII as a violent, narcissistic killer of wives in The Tudors (Showtime, 2007-2010, see Plate 32); or even on Michael Maloney’s French Dauphin in Henry V resurfacing in his performance of cocky and sleazy Frenchman Prosper Profond in The Forsyte Saga (PBS, 2002).

Plate 30: Wallander (BBC, 2008-)

Plate 30: Wallander (BBC, 2008-)

Plate 31: Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Titus, dir. Julie Taymor (1999)

Plate 31: Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Titus, dir. Julie Taymor (1999)

Plate 32: The Tudors (Showtime, 2007-2010)

But what strikes as two powerful examples of role ghosting are actually female: Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in Downton Abbey (ITV, 2010-), and Claire Danes as CIA agent Carrie Mathison in Homeland (Showtime, 2011-).

  • 40 Hervé Glevarec, La Sériephilie : Sociologie d’un attachement culturel, Paris, Ellipses, 2012, p. 98

52Sociologist Hervé Glevarec has shown that TV series’ aficionados enjoy the fact that many actors in TV series were not film stars before becoming TV actors. Viewers appreciate encountering the actors’ first fictional identities, contaminated neither by previous roles nor by their off-screen personae, as if this “virginity” made them more apt to embody fictive characters over several seasons – as if they almost literally became the character, jeopardizing their being cast as heroes of subsequent fictions.40 Actors with a Shakespearean past (and sometimes present) destabilize this pattern in series that do not hesitate to play with this haunting in more or less explicit ways.

53In Richard Loncraine’s 1995 Richard III, Maggie Smith played the Duchess of York, a part that was fused with that of Queen Margaret. Maggie Smith thus embodied a merging of two aged figures: the prophetic, cursing, disempowered queen and the usurping tyrant’s mother who strives to retain the moral foundations of York’s divinely ordained right to the throne. The film sequence in which Smith’s Duchess teaches how to curse to Queen Elizabeth (Annette Bening) who is accompanied by her daughter, connotes women’s empowered collusion to reach legitimate female rule within the predominant patriarchal order (see video “Richard III – Scene 14” here: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=uTDkM7wUx-A and here), an extract from Loncraine’s film that adapts the play’s iv.iv scene, in which Maggie Smith delivers lines originally from the Duchess, then from Queen Margaret).

54In Downton Abbey, a period drama set (coincidentally?) in Yorkshire (see Plate 33), Maggie Smith brings echoes of her Duchess of York to her part as the Dowager Countess who, though she does not own or manage the estate, stands as the matriarch with a sharp tongue and sarcastic wit,41 protecting not only the old social order and aristocratic traditions, but also the financial and social interests of her granddaughters.

Plate 33: Downton Abbey (ITV, 2010-), full cast and actress Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham

The Countess’ quoting of Shakespeare, especially in the 2011 Christmas special episode where she describes her daughter’s suitor with the sentence “He’s hardly the consummation devoutly to be wished”, contributes to her image as the guardian of English heritage, while recalling Smith’s numerous Shakespearean roles.

55In TV series Homeland, Claire Danes’s landmark role as Juliet alongside Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo in Luhrmann’s 1996 film (see Plate 34) is recalled explicitly in episode 3.5. When CIA agent Carrie Mathison tries to convince another agent to look for a teenaged girl who has gone missing and has probably fled with her boyfriend, the dialogue turns intertextual:

Agent. This – it’s two teenagers run away on a fuck fest. Romeo and Juliet.
Carrie. You do know how Romeo and Juliet ends, don’t you? Not well.

Plate 34: Screen grabs from Homeland (Showtime, 2011-) and from Luhrmann’s Romeo+Juliet

56The dialogue anticipates the tragic end of Carrie’s own romance with Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), while pointing to what keeps them apart – her fidelity to the CIA, his revenge quest as a US Marine turned terrorist during his 8-year captivity in Iraq. The excerpt was picked by the production as the official preview for the episode and was released (with bleepers) on 21 October 2013 on YouTube, six days prior to the broadcast on Showtime (see Plate 35 and video “Homeland Season 3: Episode 5 Clip – Romeo and Juliet” here: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=n5lJVl-pfWI and here).

Plate 35: Homeland Season 3: Episode 5 Clip – Romeo and Juliet

URL: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=n5lJVl-pfWI

57Viewed more than 24,000 times, the video drew fourteen comments, four of them testifying to the spectators’ intertextual awareness:

“where is dicaprio”
“Juliet (Claire Danes) is here, where’s Romeo (DiCaprio)? Haha”
“it’s funny that Carrie (Claire) actually gets to say the romeo and juliet stuff :D”
“Carrie would feel very strongly about how Romeo and Juliet ends. :)”

The insertion of this metafilmic citation in the script and the choice of this specific excerpt to promote the whole forthcoming episode reveal the extent to which screenwriters, producers and broadcasters alike play on the ghosting of roles as a wink to the viewers’ filmic knowledge.

Plate 36: Book cover of Edmonson and Wells’s Shakespeare beyond doubt (CUP, 2013)

58As the Shakespearean films of the 90s are dismembered and recycled, cited and parodied, imitated and disseminated, “original” Shakespeare (in both meanings of the term) continues to be produced through the very acts of iteration, adaptation and mediatisation. The films always re-appear and stand as surrogate for an ever elusive, evanescent and unstable “original Shakespeare” that is always-already mediatised. With a cover displaying Joseph Fiennes as Shakespeare in John Madden’s 1998 Shakespeare In Love, the volume recently edited by Stanley Wells and Paul Edmondson on the question of authorship, Shakespeare beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy (Cambridge, CUP, 2013, see Plate 36) continues to link the fin-de-siècle Shakespearean films with ideas of authenticity and authority. Before the next wave hits (maybe starting in 2014 with Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth starring Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender), the 90s Shakespearean wave of films is still making ripples that both make “Shakespeare” present and absent, producing the idea of an “original” and erasing it at the same time.

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Documents annexes

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Notes

1 Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray, “Introduction”, in Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray, eds., Shakespeare, Film, Fin-de-Siècle, Houndmills, Basingstoke, and London, Macmillan, 2000, p. 2.

2 Ibid., p. 4.

3 Samuel Crowl, Shakespeare at the Cineplex: The Kenneth Branagh Era, Athens, Ohio University Press, 2005.

4 Maurizio Calbi, Spectral Shakespeares: Media Adaptations in the Twenty-First Century, Houndmills, Basingstoke and London, Macmillan, 2013.

5 Richard Burt, “All that Remains of Shakespeare in Indian film”, in Dennis Kennedy and Yong Li Lan, eds., Shakespeare in Asia: Contemporary Performance, Cambridge, CUP, 2010, p. 86 [p. 73-108].

6 Paul Booth, Digital Fandom: New Media Studies, New York, Peter Lang, 2010.

7 Matt Hills, Fan Cultures, New York, Routledge, 2002.

8 Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers. Television Fans & Participatory Culture, New York, Routledge, 1992; Michel de Certeau, L’Invention du quotidien, I. Arts de faire, Paris, Union Générale d’Editions, 1980.

9 Jasper Fforde, Something Rotten (Thursday Next series), London, Hodder & Stoughton, 2004, p. 69-70.

10 Richard Saint-Gelais, Fictions transfuges : La transfictionnalité et ses enjeux, Paris, Editions du Seuil, 2011, p. 7.

11 See the video here: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?NR=1&v=On5K0BWj8xk&feature=endscreen

12 Francesca Coppa, “Writing Bodies In Space: Media Fanfiction as Theatrical Performance”, in Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse, eds., Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet, Jefferson, MacFarland, 2006, p. 225-244.

13 See http://www.theguardian.com/world/the-nsa-files (accessed 1 March 2015).

14 Jan Hollm, “Streamlining Multicultural Feminism: Shakespearean Traits in Disney’s The Lion King”, in Sandra Carroll, ed., Framing Women: Changing Frames of Representation from the Enlightenment to Postmodernism, Tübingen, Niemeyer, 2003, p. 283-294; Rosemarie Gavin, “The Lion King and Hamlet: A Homecoming for the Exiled Child”, English Journal n°85.3, 1996, 55-57, http://www.jstor.org/stable/820106 (accessed 1 March 2015); Richard Finkelstein, “Disney Cites Shakespeare: The Limits of Appropriation”, in Christy Desmet and Robert Sawyer, eds., Shakespeare and Appropriation, London and New York, Routledge, 1999, p. 179-196. Stephen M. Buhler, “Shakespeare and Company: The Lion King and the Disneyfication of Hamlet”, in Brenda Ayres and Susan Hines, eds., The Emperor’s Old Groove: Decolonizing Disney’s Magic Kingdom, New York, Peter Lang, 2003, p. 117-129.

15 The text delivered on the soundtrack is “Castle Rock Entertainment proudly presents Hamlet, the most celebrated drama in the English language seen in glorious 70-milimeter format, adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, with a distinguished international cast, featuring Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie, Kate Winslet, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Gérard Depardieu, Charlton Heston, Jack Lemmon, Richard Attenborough, John Gielgud, and Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet”.

16 John Fiske, “The Cultural Economy of Fandom”, in Lisa A. Lewis, ed., The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, London, Routledge, p. 30-49.

17 Peter Holland, “Performing Shakespeare for the Web Community”, in Alexander C.Y. Huang and Charles S. Ross, eds., Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and Cyberspace, West Lafayette, IN, Purdue University Press, 2009, p. 256 [p. 252-262].

18 See Kevin Quarmby’s review of the production (accessed 1 March 2015): http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/reviews/RSCmacbeth2011-rev

19 The whole piece can be heard here: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=9WTm3tBXscY&noredirect=1

20 Chorus. Two households, both alike in dignity
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life
Romeo and Juliet, Prologue, 1-6.

21 See http://devilmaycry.wikia.com/wiki/Devil_May_Cry_4_walkthrough/M17

22 See the skull scene in DMC4 here: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=cpME4riPI1k&noredirect=1

23 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mabinogi_(video_game). See also, for instance, The Mabinogion, trans. Sioned Davies, Oxford World’s Classics, Oxford University Press, 2008.

24 http://wiki.mabinogiworld.com/view/Shakespeare

25 Courtney Lehmann and Lisa S. Starks, “Making Mother Matter: Repression, Revision, and the Stakes of ‘Reading Psychoanalysis Into’ Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet”, Early Modern Literary Studies n°6.1, May 2000, http://extra.shu.ac.uk/emls/06-1/lehmhaml.htm (accessed 1 March 2015).

26 Ibid.

27 See the YouTube list here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMgNDu_lEOA&list=PL6410B6506E178208; and an example from Hamlet (“This now the witching time of night”) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY0Jn0pWhFk&index=8&list=PL6410B6506E178208.

28 Monica Michlin, “Narrative and Ideological Entrapment in 24: Plotting, Framing, and the Ambivalent Viewer”, GRAAT online n°6, December 2009, p. 121 [p. 121-148], http://www.graat.fr/backissuepiegesseriestv.htm (accessed 1 March 2015).

29 Ibid., p. 130.

30 Deborah Jermyn, “Reasons to Split Up: Interactivity, Realism, and the Multiple- Image Screen in 24”, in Steven Peacock, ed, Reading ‘24’: TV Against the Clock, London, I.B. Tauris, 2007, p. 51 [p. 49-57].

31 Michlin, op. cit., p. 121.

32 Ibid., p. 128.

33 Michael Allen, “Divided Interests: Split-Screen Aesthetics in 24”, in Steven Peacock, ed., Reading ‘24’: TV Against the Clock, London, I.B. Tauris, 2007, p. 35-47.

34 Steven Peacock, “24: Status and Style”, in Peacock, ed., op. cit., p. 26-27 [p. 25-34].

35 Michlin, op. cit., p. 128.

36 Janet McCabe, “Damsels in Distress: Female Narrative, Authority and Knowledge in 24”, in Peacock, ed., op. cit., p. 154 [p. 149-161]. See particularly the following fanvids on Branagh’s Hamlet and on Henry V:

https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=I9q_7Ai4jNk&playnext=1&list=PL541A24AFEB77635F&feature=results_video; http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=YY0Jn0pWhFk&list=PL6410B6506E178208;

http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=2cGWtOmErpM&list=PL6410B6506E178208

37 Alan Sinfield, Faultlines: Cultural Materialism and the Politics of Dissident Reading, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1992, p. 11.

38 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_(film)#Soundtrack

39 The sequence can be read as yet another way of conflating Branagh’s St Crispin’s Day speech with the war in Iraq.

40 Hervé Glevarec, La Sériephilie : Sociologie d’un attachement culturel, Paris, Ellipses, 2012, p. 98.

41 See some of Maggie Smith’s best lines as the Countess: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs5_E1J_9hY

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Table des illustrations

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Sarah Hatchuel, « The Shakespearean films of the 90s: Afterlives in transmedia in the 21st century », Actes des congrès de la Société française Shakespeare [En ligne], 33 | 2015, mis en ligne le 15 mars 2015, consulté le 21 octobre 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/shakespeare/2945 ; DOI : 10.4000/shakespeare.2945

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Sarah Hatchuel

Université du Havre

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