MoMA Slates Fall Bardfest With 21 Shakespeare-Related Films


New York’s Museum of Modern Art will screen an eclectic assortment of films based on or inspired by William Shakespeare next month in “Breaking Bard: Shakespeare on Film, October 12–24 at the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters. The series features work from directors Kenneth Branagh, Laurence Olivier, Baz Luhrmann, Roman Polanski, Julie Taymor, and Franco Zeffirelli; performances from actors Olivier, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Ethan Hawke, Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Anthony Hopkins, Ian McKellen, Robert Downey Jr., Ralph Fiennes, Julia Stiles, LL Cool J and Al Pacino.

Ian McKellen as the title character in Shakespeare's "Richard III."
Ian McKellen as the title character in Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” MoMA

The British-heavy, 21-film slate is certain to inspire debate over what’s in — a mix of classic performances including Olivier’s Hamlet and Paul Scofield’s King Lear, along with such Shakespeare riffs as Fred M. Wilcox’s 1956 sci-fi Tempest reboot Forbidden Planet and Tom Stoppard’s 1990 adaptation of his early Hamlet rumination, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead — and what’s mmissing: No Chimes At Midnight (1965) from Orson Welles, for example, or Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle’s star-packed 1935 A Midsummer Night’s Dream (though Julie Taymor’s more recent version, a wonder, is included).

Full list of films featured in “Breaking Bard: Shakespeare on Film”:

• Play On! Shakespeare in Silent Film (2016). A feature length celebration from the BFI National Archive draws together a selection from more than two dozen Shakespeare films from 1899 to the close of the silent film era.
• A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014). Directed by Julie Taymor. With Kathryn Hunter, David Harewood, Max Casella.
• Coriolanus (2011). Directed by Ralph Fiennes. Screenplay by John Logan. With Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox.
• Deliver Us from Eva (2003). Directed by Gary Hardwick. Screenplay by James IverMattson, B.E. Brauner, Hardwick. With LL Cool J, Gabrielle Union, Duane Martin. Based on The Taming of the Shrew.
• Maqbool (2003). Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. Screenplay by Abbas Tyrewala, Bhardwaj. With Irrfan Kahn, Tabu, Panjak Kapur. Based on Macbeth.
• O (2001). Directed by Tim Blake Nelson. Screenplay by Brad Kaaya. With Mekhi Phifer, Martin Sheen, Julia Stiles. Based on Othello.
• Hamlet (2000). Written and directed by Michael Almereyda. With Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, Julia Stiles.
• Titus (1999). Written and directed by Julie Taymor. With Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Based on Titus Andronicus.
• Looking for Richard (1996). Directed by Al Pacino. Narration written by Al Pacino, Frederic Kimball. With Pacino, Penelope Allen, Winona Ryder.
• Romeo + Juliet (1996). Directed by Baz Luhrmann. Screenplay by Craig Pearce, Luhrman. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo.
• Tromeo & Juliet (1996). Directed by Lloyd Kaufman. Screenplay by Kaufman, James Gun. With Jane Jensen, Will Keenan, Sean Gunn. Based on Romeo and Juliet.
• Richard III (1995). Directed by Richard Loncraine. Screenplay by Loncraine, Ian McKellen. With Ian McKellen, Robert Downey Jr., Annette Bening.
• Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead (1990). Written and directed by Tom Stoppard. With Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss. Based on Hamlet.>
• Henry V (1989). Written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. With Branagh, Judi Dench, Paul Scofield.
• The Tempest (1979). Written and directed by Derek Jarman. With Heathcote Williams, Peter Bull, Toyah Wilcox.
• King Lear (1971). Written and directed by Peter Brook. With Paul Scofield, Irene Worth, Cyril Cusack.
• Macbeth (1971). Directed by Roman Polanski. Screenplay by Polanski, Kenneth Tynan. With John Finch, Francesca Annis, Martin Shaw.
• Romeo and Juliet (1968). Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Screenplay by Franco Brusati, Masolino D’Amico, Zeffirelli. With Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, Michael York.
• All Night Long (1962). Directed by Basil Dearden. Screenplay by Nel King, Paul Jarrico. With Patrick McGoohan, Marti Stevens, Paul Harris. Based on Othello.
• Forbidden Planet (1956). Directed by Fred M. Wilcox. Screenplay by Cyril Hume. With Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen. Based on The Tempest.
• Hamlet (1948). Directed by Laurence Olivier. Starring Olivier, Eileen Herlie, Jean Simmons.

The series is organized by Anne Morra, Associate Curator, Department of Film, in conjunction with the British Film Institute and the British Council. See

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