Shakesperian Connundrums – or are They?

I’ve just finished reading a book, Henry V, War Criminal and Other Shakespearian Puzzles, which explores a number of puzzles, and apparent contradictions, in some (or in fact most) of Shakespeare’s plays. I guess when you happen to be this hugely famous author any little mistake, or apparent mistake, is suddenly scrutinised extensively, and debated over by academics of all stripes. Then we have somebody like Shakespeare, who in many cases is viewed as not just one of, but the greatest, writer that the English language has ever produced, and we are speaking of a language that has produced countless numbers of great writers. However while writers such as Charles Dickens can produce a love/hate relationship, Shakespeare seems to be loved by all (except for those high school students who are forced to study his plays).

Survival in the Modern Times

I probably would have just left this as a review on IMDB but as it turns out there is a word limit on that site which means that I can’t actually say everything that I want to say about, well, this movie. Actually, I have to admit that as a website IMDB is pretty ordinary – it’s good for finding out about movies, and I do have a habit of writing a review of every movie that I have seen, but that is about it – unlike Goodreads it isn’t a website where you can discuss movies with people or actually write engaging posts on a particular movie. Actually, they did have some discussion boards but have since decided to can them, which is a real shame.

Leaving the Past Behind – The Butterfly Effect

Well, my original plan was to simply sit down on my couch on Saturday night and watch a film that I have already watch with the intention of not actually writing anything about something. Well, I guess The Butterfly Effect is not the type of film that one can simply walk away from and not think too heavily about what just occurred. Well, okay, you probably can, but as people suggest I have this annoying habit of thinking too much – not that that is a bad thing, but some people do feel somewhat threatened by people who do have this annoying habit of thinking about and analysing things and want to put a stop to it. However, this isn’t a post about anti-intellectualism, so I will leave it at that.

Westword – Dreams of Consciousness

I would say that I have just finished watching this rather mindblowing television series, but I wanted to at least watch the original movie, and then the rather disappointing sequel before I started writing down my thoughts. Also, watching a couple of youtube videos also helped a bit with coming through with some thoughts, however as I look at the last of the ten episodes, I have to admit that I struggle to see where they can go to from there, and whether they can actually surpass what we have already seen. In any case, if you haven’t already watched the series then I recommend that you do, especially if you are a fan of the original film before you continue any further because even though I will attempt not to spoil anything (namely because there are some awesome twists), I can’t say that I won’t ruin the experience with this post, particularly since I am exploring some of the themes.

Dystopian Dreams

Normally I wouldn’t waste my time writing a blog post about a bad, or series of bad, movies, but for some reason, I feel that maybe I should write something about the idea of the dystopia since I have just wasted about nine hours of my life watching the four Hunger Games movies. Anyway, I won’t actually write about what I thought of the films namely because I have already done so on IMDB, and I will include links to the reviews at the bottom of this post, however, I do wish to explore the idea of the dystopia in general, and have a glance to some of the recent series of movies (which have come out of books mind you) that explore this idea. Mind you, a part of me does want to hold off a bit so that I can watch Brazil again, but I suspect I’ll have plenty to write about that particular movie when I get around to it.

Gutemberg and the Power of the Press

It is difficult to pinpoint what the most influential invention that has ever been developed actually is, though Gutenberg’s movable type printing press is certainly up there. No doubt the inventions that have been the most influential tend to be the oldest, such as the domestication of animals, farming, the wheel, and of course the alphabet, and anybody who has played Sid Meyer’s Civilisation will no doubt be familiar with the technology tree, that is that technological developments come about from earlier developments, which in turn come from even earlier ones.

Cymbeline – Back to Britannia

Apart of me felt that it was a little ironic, with all the furore over Brexit, that this play was being performed by the Royal Shakespeare company around this time. Mind you, unless they had a crystal ball, I have a feeling that it may have been a coincidence that Cymbeline was being staged, though we must remember that Brexit didn’t happen in a vacuum, and there was a huge debate over Britain’s role in the EU and the European community in the lead up not only to the referendum but also the general election of 2015. The thing is that one of the major themes of the play, and it as just as important back when it was first performed as it is now, is the role of Britain in Europe, and how much influence should Europe have over British (or more precisely English) sovereignty.

Goethe – Germany’s Renaissance Man

One of the places that I ended up visiting in Frankfurt was the Goethe House, and while a part of me wants to simply write about the house (particularly since the website is actually pretty detailed), I will either leave that for my travel blog, or another post in this blog at another time. However, what I will say is that the house itself is quite large, comprising of four floors, all of them packed full of Goethe related material, and lots and lots of artwork (though he wasn’t much of painter, rather the paintings were from his father’s collection). Next door, well not so much next door because it is actually a part of the museum, is another gallery of paintings by Goethe’s contemporaries. Actually, the staff were pretty keen on me going in and having a look, which is what I eventually did.

Richard II – A King Without Friends

Well, it seems that within a period of two months I have managed to see Richard II twice, the first was a DVD that I had ordered of the Royal Shakespeare Company production starring David Tennant, and the second one being a production by the Globe Theatre. Actually, I had no idea that the Globe version was going to be showing at one of the local (or not so local as the case may be because it did take an hour and a half, by train, to get from my home to the cinema) cinemas when I watched the DVD a little while back, though as I have mentioned in my previous post (though having a look at the date that it was posted – 5th May – I’d probably be more accurate in suggesting that I watched it quite some time ago), the lack of good plays in Australia means that I am more than willing to make the trek to see another version.