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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Branagh Puts "As You Like It" in Japan

Straight to HBO this time. I mean, seriously, what's up with him?

Did I miss a story about him urinating on a famous producer's shoe?

2 comments:

Zack said...

It's getting harder and harder to sell Shakespeare to the masses. I am glad that he decided to only direct. I feel he is an exceptional actor when he refrains from performing double duty.

Ian G said...

Apparently his film version of "Love's Labour's Lost" was such a disaster that it nearly bankrupted his production company (it was, admittedly, jaw-droppingly bad, in my opinion). No distributor could be found for "As You Like It" in the States (or even, I'm told, in the UK). It did get a theatrical run in Italy about 3 or 4 years ago, got so-so reviews, and got stuck in limbo ever since. There was talk of it going straight-to-DVD, then HBO expressed interest in it and they went back and forth for a year or so hammering out the broadcast rights. So at long last we'll get to see it. I hope it's good - the whole Japanese-y thing looks pretty but seems like a left-field choice (I saw the RSC do a "Cymbeline" a while back that was bizarrely Kabuki-fied in a way that was just half-assed and distracted from the performances, many of which were quite good despite the ridiculous technicolor-samurai clothes). I'm not sure what I think of Branagh; he made such a spectacular debut with "Henry V" (which was visually and thematically based on Adrian Noble's stage production. Noble was ironically also responsible for the "Samurai Cymbeline". I think he's hugely talented, but no one bats a thousand) and then it's been hit-and-miss. I think my favorite film of Branagh's is "In the Bleak Midwinter", retitled in America for some reason as "A Midwinter's Tale". Go out and rent that baby if you haven't already. Really great. I agree that Branagh's acting improves enormously when someone else is directing; I actually thought "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" featured some of his best film work to date and he was very good in "Rabbit Proof Fence".