Here's news about high-definition video recordings of opera, ballet, classical music, plays, fine-art documentaries, and paintings. I call these recordings "HDVDs." In the journal below are independent (and hard-to-find critical) reports on hundreds of HDVDs. Pick the best titles for your excelsisphere.

October 15. We are getting again into symphony titles and the existential issue of DVDitis. I just posted a story on a Mahler 2 recording at the Gewandhaus that might be considered DOA from the dread plague.

I recently put up a story about the 3rd version (!) of the same Giselle production published by Opus Arte. I recently posted a story about the Ekman Midsummer Night's Dream ballet (which has nothing to do with Shakespeare). I also just posted two stories about Shakespeare's The Tempest. The first is a definitive stage play version by the RSC. The second is an updated review of The Tempest movie staring Helen Mirren as Prospera (the female version of Prospero). The movie is streamlined - try it first. Then move on to the RSC "real deal", which is probably the best The Tempest ever made for home viewing.

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Entries in Dutch FilmWorks (1)

Tuesday
Feb242015

The Merchant of Venice

Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice motion picture. Michael Radford directed and wrote this film in 2004. Stars Al Pacino (Shylock), Jeremy Irons (Antonio), Joseph Fiennes (Bassanio), Lynn Collins (Portia), Zuleikha Robinson (Jessica), Kris Marshall (Gratiano), Charlie Cox (Lorenzo), Heather Goldenhersh (Nerissa), Mackenzie Crook (Launcelot Gobbo), John Sessions (Salerio), Gregor Fisher,(Solanio), Ron Cook (Old Gobbo), Allan Corduner (Tubal), Anton Rodgers (The Duke), David Harewood (Prince of Morocco), and Jules Werner (Franciscan Friar). Music by Jocelyn Pook; cinematography by Benoît Delhomme; editing by Lucia Zucchetti; produced by Cary Brokaw, Michael Cowan, Jason Piette, Barry Navidi, and Luciano Martino. Released 2014, disc has 5.1 surround sound. Grade: Help!

This movie was apparently made in the Netherlands to help Dutch-speaking folks (most of whom know a lot of English) enjoy this Shakespeare play. The language of the film is English. But the only subtitles are in Dutch, and we think the original packaging was in Dutch. Later the owners decided to reissue the film to a wider audience in English packaging.

Please help us by writing a comment that we can place here as a mini-review of this title. We would like to know how closely this movie follows the Shakespeare original text and whether it would help prepare the viewer to tackle reading the real deal.