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Profile for Michael J. Connor > Reviews

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Michael J. Connor (Waltham, MA USA)

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Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD]
Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD]
Dvd ~ Hayao Miyazaki
Price: £14.99

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars While You're Waiting, I'm Watching, 28 July 2014
The Japanese blu ray (region free), English, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, French language tracks and English, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, French subtitles has been out for a while. Features include Storyboard (picture-in-picture with the main video), the dubbing script in Japanese, trailers & TV spots, etc. The Hong Kong blu ray (region A), Cantonese, Japanese language tracks and English, Traditional Chinese, Japanese subtitles. Bonus Features include storyboards and trailers. I'm sure you will be satisfied the domestic release, but while you're waiting, I'm watching.

The Shakespeare Collection [DVD] [1978]
The Shakespeare Collection [DVD] [1978]
Dvd ~ Alan Rickman
Price: £71.00

366 of 371 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These are dreams, 22 Jan. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In some ways it's a DVD box set, much like any other box set of a BBC series, say I, Claudius, or Doctor Who. Thirty-seven plays of Shakespeare are collected from the BBC's series which ran from 1978 to 1985. There were three producers, Cedric Messina, Jonathan Miller, and Shaun Sutton, but the BBC's house style dominates. These productions were budgeted at about £200,000 a piece, with scheduled rehearsal time of 30 days, and a shooting schedule of five to eight days. Most of the plays were shot at the BBC's television center, Studio 1, but two plays, As You Like It and King Henry VIII were shot on location, and had longer shooting schedules. When the series was first aired there was criticism about budget, production values, and other things but now after time has passed, these productions are held in higher esteem than they had when the plays first aired. Part of the reason must be the relative completeness of the series. Only Two Noble Kinsmen is overlooked, probably because it was not generally included in Shakespeare's complete editions when the plays were broadcast.
In other ways, it's much more than a DVD box set. It's Shakespeare's writing of course that carries the day, and the actors who bring the plays to life. For powerhouse acting Othello with Anthony Hopkins as the Moor, and Bob Hoskins as Iago gets the nod, but other plays and performers also got my notice. And they may not be the ones that are often thought of. Peter Benson as Henry VI and Julia Foster as his Queen Margaret, Anthony Quayle as Falstaff, Timothy West as Cardinal Wolsey, Brian Glover as Bottom, Frank Middlemass as Lear's Fool, Jonathan Pryce as Timon, and Richard Pasco as Jaques are just a few of the actors and roles that impressed me. There are surprises too. A minor pop star Brian Protheroe shows up in Titus Andronicus, the Henry VI plays, and Richard III. He's good in the roles he plays. I'd like to see more of him. Four actresses, Helen Mirren as Rosiland, Titania, and Imogen, Clair Bloom as Gertrude, the Queen in Cymbeline and Queen Katherine in Henry VIII, Penelope Wilton as Desdemona and Regan, and Jane Lapotaire as Lady Macbeth and Cleopatra also caught my attention.

It's often asserted that these plays are Shakespeare uncut. This is not true. There are many cuts, and a few additions. For example take The Taming of the Shrew. Act 1, Scene 1 is cut, and at the end Petruchio and Kate's exit is cut and the cast sits around a table and sings the 128th Psalm, which is no where found in the play. Then look at Cymbeline where acts four and five are heavily cut and scenes and speeches are freely rearranged. And finally look at Henry VI Part 3 Act 2, Sen. 1. In the play Edward and Richard enter, and their brother George is no where to be found. In the BBC version, George is there and he speaks some of Edward's and Richard's lines. There is plenty of tinkering going on here, the best part is the price.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2013 1:51 PM GMT

Woe Is I
Woe Is I
by Patricia T. O'Conner
Edition: Paperback

2 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Woe, woe are we--Anthony and Cleopatra 4,14, 133, 11 Mar. 2000
This review is from: Woe Is I (Paperback)
The first place I went to find out about "woe is I" was the index. I looked up "woe" but that word is not there. I looked up "I" which directs the reader to pages 10-13. "Woe is I" is not treated on these pages. That is not a good sign. O'Connor does treat "Woe is I" on page 1: Hundreds of years after the first Ophelia cried "Woe is me" some pendents would argue that Shakespeare should have written "Woe is I" or "Woe is unto me." (Never mind that the rules of English grammar weren't even formalized in Shakespeare's day.) The point is no one is exempt from having his pronouns second guessed.
First of all who are these pendants? O'Connor does not name them but I suspect she is referring to an "On Language" column written by William Safire and republished in his "In Love with Norma Loquendi" pages xiii-xv. Secondly, she does not explain the grammar of "woe is me" at all and gives no hint if she prefers that to "woe is I" or "woe is unto me" Did Shakespeare use the wrong case? Or is there something else going on? My objection to O'Connor is that she raised the issue of "woe is me" but did not explain it. This is not just a matter of second guessing which pronoun Shakespeare should have used. It is a matter of understanding the grammatical rules of Early Modern English. We know a great deal of the grammar of Early Modern English, the English of Shakespeare, because of scholars like E. A. Abbott and Wilhelm Franz. We know from them that the "me" in "woe is me" is not in place of the nominative "I" but a dative pronoun. We know from them that dative pronouns, indirect objects and the like were much less likely to have prepositions in front of them in Early Modern English than in Present Day English. But O'Connor makes no mention of this. Readers will have to go elsewhere to get this kind of information. If you want more information about "woe is me" I can recommend a few books to look at. Abbott's "Shakespearian Grammar" and Onion's "Modern English Syntax" treat various constructions with "woe" with admirable brevity. For comprehensive treatment readers should read Maetzner's "Englische Grammatik" and Franz's "Die Sprache Shakespeares in Vers und Prosa."
As for the rest of O'Connor's book I would recommend that readers be skeptical and suspicious of her conclusions.

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