Something is rotten in this collection of essays on film treatments of Shakespeare's plays. Various circumstances—only glanced at here—have created a recent, sizable, and profitable multimedia Shakespearean revival in our midst: from Kenneth Branagh's glamorous epic efforts to cartoons to such maverick adaptations as My Own Private Idaho and Prospero's Books. Trying to grapple loosely with this trend, editors Boose and Burt, English professors at Dartmouth and the University of Massachusetts, respectively, present a wide cross- section of Anglo-American essays (including their own unremarkable contributions) drawn from all corners of current critical theory, from deconstructionism to feminist and queer theory. But whatever their ideological and critical underpinnings or their ostensible subjects, most of these essays are about nothing so much as ourselves. Perhaps it is a testament to his genius that every generation can find itself reflected perfectly in Shakespeare. And so, we have Barbara Hodgdon comparing Othello with the O.J. Simpson case in raising issues of race and gender; Katherine Eggert reading Bugsy as a remake of Antony and Cleopatra; Donald Hedrick detecting imperialist impulses in Branagh's Henry V; and so on. Most of the essayists are professors of English, yet their mastery of Shakespeare is usually not matched by their understanding of film and film theory. And despite a few game attempts at delineating the effects of Shakespeare's current filmic popularizations on his plays—most notably, Robert Hapgood's thoughts on Zeffirelli and Tony Howard's on King Lear—most of the contributors here prefer to pace endlessly about in the academic prisons of their thoughts. Some bright, particular stars can be found, but as Hotspur might proclaim: ``Such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff.''

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 1998

ISBN: 0-415-16584-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Routledge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?