Shakespeare Film Series kicks off at the Bama Theatre

Shakespeare Film Series kicks off at the Bama Theatre

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On Sept. 9, the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama launched its annual film series with a screening of Baz Luhrmann’s “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.”

According to its website, the Strode Program’s film series began in 2014, screening one film a month from September to April at the Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa. The films vary in style, setting and approach, but all share the common ground of being adaptations of Shakespeare’s work. 

“[These films were chosen] to provide a good sampling of the diverse Shakespearean adaptations out there,” said Nicholas Helms, an instructor in the department of English, who has been involved in the series since the beginning. 

This year’s film series features adaptations of “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth,” “King Lear” and “Twelfth Night” in varying genres of film: from comedy (“She’s the Man”) to horror (“The Theatre of Blood”) to samurai drama (Akira Kurosawa’s “Throne of Blood”). This variety, Helms said, helps place Shakespeare’s work into new contexts, adapting it to modern and varying audiences. 

“There’s a style for everyone in this series,” Helms said. 

The Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies Shakespeare Film Series will screen one Wednesday out of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Bama Theatre. Admission is free, and all are welcome. 

The film series schedule:

October 21: “Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela,” a 2013 Bollywood adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet”

November 14: “Broken Lance,” a 1954 Academy Award-winning western starring Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner that adapts “King Lear” to the Wild West. 

December 16: “The Theatre of Blood,” a 1973 horror-comedy starring Vincent Price as a Shakespearean actor who plots murderous revenge against the critics who derailed his career. 

January 13, 2016: “Scotland, PA,” a dark comedy that transplants “Macbeth” to a fast-food restaurant 1970’s Pennsylvania and starring James LeGros, Maura Tierney and Christopher Walken. 

February 10, 2016: “Throne of Blood,” an adaptation of “Macbeth” set in feudal Japan directed by legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and starring frequent Kurosawa collaborator Toshiro Mifune (“Rashomon,” “Seven Samurai”) in the lead role. 

March 23, 2016: “Twelfth Night,” Trevor Nunn’s rendering of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about a woman who disguises herself as her brother after he’s presumed dead and becomes the confidante of a duke, starring Imogen Stubbs, Helena Bonham Carter, Imelda Staunton and Ben Kingsley.

April 13, 2016: “She’s the Man,” a modern adaptation of “Twelfth Night” starring Amanda Bynes as Viola Hastings, a girl who disguises herself as her brother Sebastian and takes his spot on the soccer team at an elite boys’ school. Co-stars Channing Tatum, David Cross, Laura Ramsey and Vinnie Jones. 

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