Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Director's Cut

Thinking back to your performances last Friday and the observations you made today as you watched the film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, what are some of the directorial choices you noticed in the film version, and what do they signify? In other words, what point do you think the director was trying to emphasize in adding a scene, dressing a character or staging a scene in a certain way, selecting an actor to play a certain part, offering a new symbol, etc.?

As always, remember that this is a conversation; read and comment on each other's posts as well as offering your own ideas.

24 comments:

Christine said...

In the movie, A Midsummer Nights Dream, the director, Michael Hoffman, had made the story his own by adding and picking the people he did. One of which, Hoffman added was when Oberon was placing the flower’s juice on Titania’s eyes he had to distract one of her maids to get to her. I think he added this is because he wanted the scene to be more exciting and look more dangerous. The actors in the movie were nicely picked because they had fit the parts very well. I don’t know if it’s how they look or if it’s just the way they get into character but they fit very well, especially the scene with Helena and Demetrius, where the two of them are in the forest and searching for the loping couple, Hermia and Lysander, and Helena being the weakling that she is tells Demetrius that she could be his Spaniel.

Bandido said...

I am going to have to agree with Christine about the choosing of the actors and how well each of them work in the film. First of all great choice with Calista Flockhart as Helena. Calista already had practice playing a poor pathetic person on “Ally McBeal”. Stanley Tucci as Puck is just the devil cake on highway 66.
Also I think I should give props to Rupert Everett for playing a fairy. I mean that must have been extremely difficult.

But I do have to type that it was very interesting to have the changeling boy be blue. Is it because he has the blues after his mother died? Maybe so, is it the B.B King kind? I have no idea, but we can at least assume some black guy is strumming a guitar in a bluesy fashion. That is how I see the blue boy and why he is blue.

And what about Puck on that huge turtle? Most likely this was the director’s way of sticking it to the man. The studio wanted fast cars and skinny chicks, And what did Michael Hoffman do? He put in a giant slow moving turtle and Ally McBeal. So at least he had the skinny chicks thing covered. Just in a blemic sort of way.

And Kevin Kline was in French Kiss so he needs more screen time.
Nixon in ’08!

Maria A. said...
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Maria A. said...

In the scene about the fairies at the fairy "bar", in the movie it showed that the faires are not little flying people that just are always good and innocent, they are like regular people who make mistakes too. Agreeing with Christine, in the movie the director made the characters more exagerated and more exciting for the audiance for a reason. The scene of Oberon putting flower juice on Titania's eye lids, gave it a little twist and had the audiances guessing on what kind of love triangle is going to happen next. In the book, it did not talk about the fairy bar, and just had the reader make a prediction about how the fairies really are. In the movie showing that scene is better off because it gives more of a visual on how the fairies are and how they act, just like normal people. Making mistakes and trying to fix them includes everyone in this story known as A Mid Summer Nights Dream.

kaseyb said...

I agree with Maria in that the director added the fairy bar. I also think that he did this to show that in this particular play the fairies are slightly naughty and not like the typical fairy that most everyone thinks of. That was one of the major things that I noticed that the director changed in this play.

TraciAnn said...

I guess that director needed to add some extra scenes to let the viewers know what exactly is going on in the movie. In some cases he wanted to show things that the book described but could only be described by adding another scene in the movie. I agree with everything everyone said before. For the scene with the fairies in the bar the director wanted to show that the fairies were not goodie goodie and they liked to play tricks on people. Also the director wanted to make the movie more interesting so he could add many more scenes like the bicycles are not necessary additions but they make the movie a little funnier.

Tabitha said...

In Midsummer Nights Dream, the director certainly spiced up the file with special additions and themes. One that stood out, was when Bottom put the top hat on and picked up the donkey stick. The stick is clearly showing what he will turn into, but the hat I believe has a deeper meaning. That hat stands for Bottom always going all out and wanting everything for himself. The top hat is a straight statement of what he thinks of himself. Also in the play Puck takes Lysanders bike and clothes. Showing that Puck is a funny man.

amandab said...

In the movie today I noticed that the director added like the fairy bar as a symbol that fairies are like not innocent all the time and they do have their party side to them. Also I noticed that the little boy is blue, and I have no idea why that is, maybe to show that the boy changes? Or maybe to show that he is different? I don't know but these things obviously have a reason to be in the movie.

JordanR said...

I think that a major reason that the director added and edited some scenes was to make it more modern, but besides that reason i agree with traci on how the director added in the fairy bar to show that the fairies like to have a good time, and they're not little good fairies that everyone imagines. Another scene that i think the director spiced up a little bit was the scene where bottom's face gets turned into a donkey. When you read the book that scene doesn't seem very magical but in the movie it was very "fantasy like".

Whitney C said...

In the movie I think the director added in some scenes that were not in the book, such as the fairy bar, to create more interest in the movie. I agree with Maria on the fact that the director wanted to show the viewers that the fairies in this story are not all innocent. The fairies in this story want to goof off and have a fun time as well as any other character portrayed in the story. I also noticed that the director added bicycles in and to be honest I have no idea why. Maybe he was trying to modernize it in a way that people could relate to. I’m sure there is some deeper meaning to the bicycles but I cannot figure it right now.

TylerF said...

I agree with all of the opinions above, and also the reasoning for them. Whitney had also mentioned the bicycles, although unsure I believe they may symbolize the baggage of any kind that all of the characters must carry. Whether it is of love or of regret, they must constantly drag these heavy, big objects with them through the woods, much like the regrets of the past or longing of the future they still hold to. In the movie the bikes are a quick means of transportation, which the characters must constantly use to get away from another, making them almost impossible to just leave behind and forget.

Shelby M. said...

I think that the director added and edited the scenes in the movies was to make it more modern and more like what life is like today and not when the play was made. I also think that he chose the certain actors and actresses for certain parts because it was symbolic. One of the major things that I noticed they changed is the fairy bar. I think they changed it up to show people that fairies aren’t exactly “innocent” they aren’t the made up little characters that people make them out to be.

KaylaL said...

I agree with Maria and everyone else who thought that the director added the fairy bar to show that fairies are not all good and innocent. I also agree with Christine about how the actors fit well into the characters. The actors do a very good job in getting into character.

jenniferb said...

I agree with Christine in that the director picked his actors and actresses well because they portrayed their characters well. The director of A Midsummer’s Night Dream added scenes in the movie for the viewers to understand the story line better. Shakespeare is a very confusing because it's old English and to make a movie out of it, the director wanted to make it clear. For example the fairy bar explained how Puck liked to play tricks on people. Also when they showed the Indian boy, by making his skin blue makes him look different from everyone else.

jake a. said...

i agree with maria too, the movie director added the fairy bar and the how he added how puck rode in on the giant tutle in the scene where he sprinkled the dust in lysanders eyes on mistake.

allie f. said...

In the movie, A Midsummer Nights Dream I think the director added and edited some scenes was to make it seem more modern, so it wouldn't be so original as the play was originally acted out. Although I do agree with some of the people above, especially Traci and Jordan's comment on the fairy bar to make it seem that the fairies enjoy having a good time and having fun. Another comment that stood out to me was Tyler's talking about the bicycle's and how they can represent a certain amount of heavy baggage whether it symbolizes regret or love.

TraciAnn said...

This is Chelsea Chapman....

I also agree with Maria that the bar scene was added so that we get the understanding of what type of people the fairies are in this movie. The faires are not your typical fairy who fly around granting peoples wishes or whatever...in this story they are almost completly opposite.

I also think that the director added some of these sences because the book is way confusing to most so i think he just wanted people to understand the plot and what was going on in the story

rachelf said...
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rachelf said...

So far I agree with what everyone has said about the fairy bar and how it symbolizes that these fairies aren’t innocent. Also I agree with Whitney that the bicycles bring a modern perspective on the movie, and I think they make the movie even more interesting. But there is something else about them that could have been just a joke? I really really like what Tyler said about the bicycles, I never thought about them like that but I definitely agree. Also I agree with Christine about the actors fitting their parts very well. Oh and also I liked how the fairies were human then turned into little fairies, I think that was very well put together and made it easier to understand what was going on.

Jenna F said...

I agree with majority here by saying that the bar scene with the fairies was a necessary add on. It allowed the fairies to be less child-like dream and more adult imagination. It combined the childhood fairy into a real life adult. I agree with Christine when the director added the part about Oberon distracting the maid. It made the whole scene a bit more believable.

Allison M. said...

I agree with Whitney and Rachel, that the scene with the fairy's was meant to show that they aren't like the usual fairy's we hear about in story books. I think it made it easier for the viewer to understand that the fairy's in A Midsummer Nights Dream are tricksters and aren't innocent like most people would expect. I also really like what Tyler said about the bicycles, that they might be used to symbolize the extra baggage that each character must carry along with them.

Keiko A said...

I agree with Allison, Whitney and Rachel about how the scene with the faries was ment to show that the faries are not as simple minded and dull as other films have portrayed them to be. I think that this scene was a good decision to add because it made you rethink the way that you had always thought of faries and it set up for their role in the movie. I also agree with Tyler that the bikes that they use could symbolize the emotional baggage that they must always carry with them.

hilary l said...

I agree with Whitney in how she said that the director added the bikes to modernize the story so people could understand it better. Back in Shakespeare's day it was hard to understand how people talked as well as how they acted. By placing the setting of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the 1800's it is easier for people in the 21st century to understand that story. I also noticed how the fairies are collecting things from the humans like the song record which were introduced in the 1900's. The director wanted to modernize the play so that people from the 21st century could understand it better.

Travisg said...

Well i think that the way they showed robbin a lote more becasue not only is that hte only way he would do it but he also plays a big roll in the play at the end of the story. They relly on him to point out that the play haas other meanings and they need him to be a bigger star so that people pay more atention to him at the end of the book. so that is there way of descreatly saying that you need to pay close atention to this person.