Kozintsev’s Shakespeare Films

Russian Political Protest in Hamlet and King Lear


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About the Book

This book is a study of Grigory Kozintsev’s two cinematic Shakespeare adaptations, Hamlet (Gamlet, 1964), and King Lear (Korol Lir, 1970). The films are considered in relation to the historical, artistic and cultural contexts in which they appear, and in relation to the contributions of Dmitri Shostakovich, who wrote the films’ scores; and Boris Pasternak, whose translations Kozintsev used. The films are analyzed respective to their place in the translation and performance history of Hamlet and King Lear from their first appearances in Tsarist Russian arts and letters. In particular, this study is concerned with the ways in which these plays have been used as a means to critique the government and the country’s problems in an age in which official censorship was commonplace. Kozintsev’s films (as well as his theatrical productions of Hamlet and Lear) continue along this trajectory of protest by providing a vehicle for him and his collaborators to address the oppression, violence and corruption of Soviet society. It was just this sort of covert political protest that finally effected the dissolution and fall of the USSR.

About the Author(s)

Tiffany Ann Conroy Moore teaches writing, literature, film and public speaking at several colleges in Southern New Hampshire.

Bibliographic Details

Tiffany Ann Conroy Moore
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 202
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7135-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0028-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      viii

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. Kozintsev’s Contexts 1: Hamlet in Russia in the 18th and 19th Centuries      25

2. Kozintsev’s Contexts 2: Soviet Hamlets from the Revolution until after Stalin’s Death      52

3. Hamlet in the “Thaw” and Kozintsev’s 1964 Film Adaptation      74

4. Kozintsev’s Contexts 3: Russian and Soviet King Lears from the 18th Century through World War II      106

5. King Lear Revisited in the Brezhnev Era: Kozintsev’s 1970 Film Adaptation      136

Epilogue      179

Chapter Notes      182

Bibliography      185

Index      193