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Movie Mom

Trailer: The Tempest

posted by Nell Minow

I am very excited about the upcoming release of “The Tempest” (described here as “Shakespeare’s final masterpiece”), starring Helen Mirren and directed by Julie Taymor (forever known as the woman behind the stage version of “The Lion King”). “The Tempest” is the story of a sorcerer named Prospero who was once a king, but, distracted by his study of magic, was deposed and exiled by his brother to a remote island, accompanied by his daughter Miranda. Mirren takes the lead as “Prospera,” who uses her powers to shipwreck her brother’s boat, bringing them to her island to right the wrongs of the past, with the help of spirits Ariel and Caliban. The cast includes Alan Cummings, Alfred Molina, Russell Brand, Tom Conti, and Djimon Hounsou.


  • Martha

    This is terrific– can you relate this film to any of the prior versions? And when will the new one be released?

  • Wendy

    December 10!! I can’t wait! (Guessing it will be a pretty limited release.)
    It should be unlike any prior film version. Derek Jarman’s 1979 film is the most traditional version and it’s hardly traditional. It is dark and magical, taking place at night, and filmed in a crumbling mansion. Paul Mazursky’s 1982 film, Tempest, is an updated version of the story taking place on a Greek island. Peter Greenaway’s 1991 film adaptation, is an art film rendering of the play that is fascinating but is not a straightforward narrative. I expect Taymor’s film will hardly be “traditional” (whatever that means), but it should follow Shakespeare’s plot and use the early modern language and be visually amazing.
    This has been a long time coming.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, Wendy! There’s also the BBC version with Michael Hordern as Prospero is probably the most traditional, but one of the great things about Shakespeare is the way his plays inspire all kinds of entertaining and illuminating adaptations.

  • Wendy

    Of course. I should have mentioned the BBC one. It is by its nature the most traditional and much more traditional than Jarman’s (which really isn’t traditional at all–but it does have Shakespeare’s language.) It’s nice with some of the newer video services that films like the BBC Shakespeare series and Jarman’s films are widely available. One no longer has to have access to a college library to see these films.

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