On King Lear Films
* KL is distillation of experience of growing old--need for affection and dignity, panic and despair, neglect and ingratitude as world goes on.
* Also of the horrors of the senescent and crumbling western world.
* full of violence and cruelty; kingdom and nature convulsed by evil; time is out of joint; parents, children, gods, servants, rulers; justcie absent: Jorgens:
* the beauty and horror of the aged face
* Bleak landscapes; black and white
* use of animals and furs--the hunt; also hunger as symbolic--Lear is hunter in mad scene
* symbolism of eyes and sight
* gesture: rigid Lear ends sitting on ground with gloucester
* relation of static frozenness and frantic movement
* uprooted and crumbling world; refugees
* bleak existential tale of meaningless violence in cold, empty universe...nothing; protest; howl; Nature shuddering in a nihilist orgasm; civilization left in ruins.
* movement from darkness to pitiless white light; at opening, frozen, Washizu-like rigidity that needs shocking into life
* central scene is fall of Gloucester
* storm scene: alternates Lear's crzed subjective view with the fools uncomfortable one
* hollywood nightmare; BW, grainy; little depth of field, expressionistic, flattened expression; oppressive silences; no music; harsh transitions; violent cutting; easy to become lost
* storm scene: fractured continuity; distorted images; lightning superimpostions; no decorative spectacle
* cruel to audience; uncompromising
* character: Lear is rigid, implacable; a ruffian; no sympathy
* A christian Marxist story of redemption and social renewal; theatre of mercy
* journey from unfeeling ignorance to self-knowledge and pity. Losing oncself to find oneself; learning stoic endurance and nature of reality as trappings of civilization are stripped away.
* crassness, materialism, wilfull tyranny to
* fundamental questioning
* who is it that can tell me who I am? Is man no more than this? Handy dandy, which is the justice and which is the thief
* deeper understanding
* O have taken too little care of this; he childed as I fathered; I stumbled when I saw; ripeness is all
* Edgar: final order contained in one who is "a most poor man, made tame to fotune's blows/Who by the art of known and feeling sorrows,/ am pregnant to good pity
* collective pilgrimage of peasants in inhospitable landscape; father and mother tending to child in wheelbarrow; ancient rock drawings; the culture that will rebuild after the wars at the end
* Lear's entrance against this is foolish and childlike, not kingly; fool holds mask; enfolded in cloak--becomes capricious and tyrannical; terrorizes daughter as child terrorizes parents
* Storm scene--Buchman
* shift from prose to poetry--taking clothes off line to wolves howling to longshot of tiny man in large hostile environment(55); contrasting statures of the king demonstrated by size in frame; spectator assumes gods point of view as Lear challenges storm; then on I am a man more sinned against than sinning" it returns to him
* close and intimate space--in hovel, not just one poor bare forked animal, but a countless throng of houseless poverty, which have inspired Edgar to join them.
* Lear's prayer for loop'd and window'd raggedness is stimulated by his seeing them rather than as in play preciding his view of Tom
* Marxist approach; king first recognizes the people who always surround him
* K's Lear learns his lessons from his environment
* Leaves out absurdist pantomime which Brook makes central--the "fall" of Gloucester--and instead, portrays his death as tragic redemption; emphasizes Emphasizes Edmund's last minute salvation
* Pinnacle scene:" capture of Lear and Cordelia, where good triumphs over evil even when about to be destroyed by it (241)" Edmund is freaked by their love; orders them killed by armed soldiers.
* ending: brutal kicking of fool, but signs of renewal--water associated with Cordelia; peasants prepare to build; Edgar addresses the audience and accuses
* music by Shostakovitch
* storm sound/music/rising madness
* builds toward grand climaxes--e.g. death of Cornwall and Regans stalking Edmund and kissing Cornwall's corpse
* symbolism of water and flame as burning violence
* more ornate texture
* pathetic Lear