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THURSDAY I: Shakespeare Remixed

Programmed by Michelle Chow

Come back to school with this off-kilter selection of Shakespearean adaptations–broadly defined. Here you’ll find a host of different genres, from teen rom-coms like 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s the Man and old-school sci-fi like Forbidden Planet, an influential 50s space opera which draws inspiration from “The Tempest,” to big-budget epics like Akira Kurosawa’s stunning Ran and moody art-house numbers like My Own Private Idaho. In these adaptations, minor characters sharpen under the spotlight, and new settings raise different problems and questions.

Some films in this eclectic mix quote the source material verbatim; others are hardly recognizable compared to the supposed original. What does it mean to create by drastically adapting, especially given how deeply canonical Shakespeare is? The vast network of adaptations that Shakespeare supports, and is supported by, trouble concepts like originality, theatricality, and ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. As each film sculpts out its relationship to the original and to the milieu of other adaptations, they crystallize a more rich sense of themselves–of their own portrayals of power, longing, curiosity, betrayal, infatuation, despair, comedy and tragedy, silliness and petty jealousy and ennui. As many reimaginings as there are, they leave room for even more, and even weirder ones, to follow.

7:00PM Thursday, September 29th

10 Things I Hate About You still

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Gil Junger · 97m · DCP

Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger co-star as the icy Kat Stratford and impish bad-boy Patrick Verona in this charming teen rom-com set in a '90s Seattle high school, based on "The Taming of the Shrew." New student Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls for Kat’s younger sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), but her protective father forbids Bianca from dating until her anti-social older sister does. Accordingly, Cameron hires Patrick to seduce Kat.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Thursday, October 6th

Ran still

Ran (1985)

Akira Kurosawa · 162m · DCP

In his last epic film and final Shakespeare adaptation, Kurosawa imports "King Lear" to Sengoku-era Japan in the story of the aging warlord Hidetora (Tatsuya Nakadai) and the three sons set to inherit his kingdom. An extravagant production, Ran was the most expensive Japanese film ever made at the time, requiring a decade of planning during which Kurosawa hand-painted every shot of the film. Ran is a gorgeous masterpiece of betrayal and destruction.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Thursday, October 13th

My Own Private Idaho still

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Gus Van Sant · 102m · DCP

This iconic film of New Queer Cinema takes the Henriad on the road, with River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves as a floating pair of young hustlers. Phoenix plays a wistful narcoleptic, Mike Waters, searching for his mother; Reeves accompanies him as Scott Favor, the wealthy son of Portland’s mayor, killing time on the streets until his inheritance kicks in. A dreamlike jewel of unrequited love, tenderness, and a distinctly queer longing for home.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Thursday, October 20th

Forbidden Planet still

Forbidden Planet (1956)

Fred M. Wilcox · 98m · DCP

A hugely influential space opera that draws inspiration from "The Tempest," Forbidden Planet is a classic that lays claim to many sci-fi firsts. With its vivid Cinemascope color and all-electronic score, the film follows Commander Adams (Leslie Nielsen) and his starship as they travel to a distant planet to discover what happened to the members of a previous expedition, but find only one scientist, his daughter, and a robot—who warn them not to approach.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Thursday, October 27th

Caesar Must Die still

Caesar Must Die (2012)

Vittorio Taviani & Paolo Taviani · 76m · Digital

In a high-security Roman prison, inmates prepare to put on a production of "Julius Caesar." With current and former inmates as actors and shot in stark black and white, Caesar Must Die follows the thorny road of the production from audition to performance, shrouding the seam between documentary and fiction. Director Paolo Taviani hoped the film would show that "even a prisoner with a dreadful sentence, even a life sentence, is and remains a human being."

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Thursday, November 3rd

Chimes at Midnight still

Chimes at Midnight (1966)

Orson Welles · 115m · 35mm

Directed by and starring Orson Welles, Chimes at Midnight pulls liberally from the "Henry IV"s, "Richard II," "Henry V," and "The Merry Wives of Windsor" to spotlight the disreputable knight Sir John Falstaff and his relationship with Prince Hal, the rebellious son of King Henry IV. The film, Welles’ personal favorite, splices the Shakespearean source material to draw a profound, tragic underbelly out of the merry humor of its antihero.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Thursday, November 10th

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead still

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)

Tom Stoppard · 117m · Digital

An absurdist riff on "Hamlet" that focuses on his childhood friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, played by Gary Oldman and Tim Roth respectively. In Shakespeare’s version, the two are conniving but ineffectual spies for Hamlet’s uncle Claudius. In this adaptation, they bumble in and out of the action of "Hamlet," mixing up their own names, flipping coins, digressing on the nature of theatre, being generally confused, and, of course, dying.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Thursday, November 17th

Strange Illusion still

Strange Illusion (1945)

Edgar G. Ulmer · 87m · 35mm

A noir retelling of "Hamlet" in Southern California, Strange Illusion is assuredly odd -- even for the seasoned cinephile. Expert cinematography brings the extended dream sequences to life, blanketing audiences in the eerie confusion of a black-and-white fever dream. Starring Jimmy Lydon, Sally Eilers, and Warren William (the so-called "King of Pre-Code"), Strange Illusion is yet another distinct classic in auteur director Edgar G. Ulmer's world. Preserved by the Library of Congress.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Thursday, December 1st

She's The Man still

She's The Man (2006)

Andy Fickman · 105m · DCP

Frustrated by the sexism of her coaches and peers, soccer player Viola (Amanda Bynes) finds an opportunity to prove them wrong by taking her twin brother's place at a new school. In disguise, Viola joins the boys’ team, develops a crush on the captain, Duke (Channing Tatum in his breakout role), and attracts the affections of Duke’s crush. She’s the Man transposes the delightfully messy love triangle of "Twelfth Night" onto a pitch-perfect teen rom-com.

Tickets can be bought here.