A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Looking for Richard
Richard III is the most performed of all of Shakespeare's works and yet it is a very complex and challenging work that many are unfamiliar with. In "Looking for Richard", Al Pacino examines the play as well as attitudes towards The Bard in America. At the same time, Pacino tries to stage a production of Richard III and while we are shown scenes from the play, we are given a dissection of the scene from Pacino himself, his actors, and various experts on the works of William Shakespeare. Pacino's directorial debut is a fascinating pseudo-documentary that is replete with so many thoughts, insights, and philosophical analyses. Pacino is captivating as he takes us through the play and helps us understand the tale of a deformed, heartless, and power hungry man, as are the many famous faces who also offer acumen such as John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Alec Baldwin, and Kevin Spacey. I don't mean this as a criticism, because I loved how the film was presented as a juxtaposition, but I would have liked to see the film version of the play as a whole, as Pacino is very captivating indeed as Richard III. "Looking for Richard" is not only an informative film but it is also an example of how to make an intriguing documentary, an art that is lost on many documentarians working today.