Looking for Richard Context

Week 7

What did I do?

Looked at context for Looking For Richard

Al Pacino’s Looking For Richard is highly contextually-driven. The severe contrast between Shakespear’s era and the world that we live in today is one of the main themes which the film addresses.

The idea that everyone knows of Shakespeare yet that most people do not care or are not interested, reflects post-modern society in general. There is a real thirst for knowledge, yet not usually action taken as a result of said knowledge. Most things are accessible in this culture and because of this, there is no real depth in the peoples understanding of a universal topic. Shakespeare’s audience was much more limited in terms of widespread access. This disinterest in historical and literature culture is conveyed in Kevin Kline’s statement at the beginning: “I remember our English teacher sent us to see… …a local college production of King Lear. I went with my girlfriend… …and after about minutes of these people: They were doing this kind of Shakespearean acting. I just tuned right out. We made out in the back row and left at intermissión.”

Class watched Looking for Richard

One of things that jumped out at me while rewatching the docudrama was that the co-director was also the ‘actor’ of the priest in the play. The man that always accompanies Al Pacino, Frederick Kimball (an actor and writer), plays the role of a religious guide to man. Some ideas that I may be able to draw from this, considering Pacino’s post-modern context – where ALL conventions are challenged by nature. This may be a minor mockery of religion. That on-stage Kimball represents the opposite of Richard, that which is righteous, while off-stage, he is Pacino’s friend, helping plan the entire play, acompanying him everywhere throughout the process. This can be seen as a challange to traditional religion and its associations, as something that can be with us or side with us, but is seen as distanced and indifferent by the public? (That concept needs a lot of work but I think that I may be able to make something out of it.)

Image: http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2016/02/15-best-and-most-quoted-movie-lines-videos-2-3294202.html


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