Shakespeare, Film Studies, and the Visual Cultures of Modernity elucidates the ways in which Shakespeare as a cultural phenomenon has influenced the development of nearly every dimension of cinema. Challenging many deeply-embedded assumptions of theories of literature, film, media studies, art history, aesthetics, and the social sciences, Guneratne proposes a theory of adaptation that encompasses and relates the artistic products of a wide range of cultures separated by time and geographical distance, social and aesthetic conventions, and traditions of performance and spectatorship. An erudite and entertaining examination of interactions of words, images, music, dance, and theatrical styles, this book is an innovative history of the most globally pervasive medium of entertainment and a multidisciplinary insight into the continuing influence of the most revered and universal of Renaissance dramatists.
"Shakespeare, Film Studies, and the Visual Cultures of Modernity is a remarkable book, one that exhibits both a sensitivity to Shakespeare's texts and a wide knowledge of international cinema. Theoretically sophisticated but never obscure, written in a flowing, attractive prose, Guneratne's study expands beyond any previous approach to Shakespeare on film to become a complex meditation on the cinema itself." - Michael Anderegg, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus and author of Cinematic Shakespeare and Orson Welles, Shakespeare, and Popular Culture
"Shakespeare, FilmStudies, and the Visual Cultures of Modernity is provocative and original,proposing what amounts to a history of cinema seen through the lens of Shakespeare film.Guneratne writes with deep learning across several media histories and disciplines and makes illuminating connections no one else has thought of making. His is one of the most interesting voices to come out of the wave of new work on Shakespeare films." - Peter S. Donaldson, Professor of Literature, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of Shakespearean Films/Shakespearean Directors
"The strength of the volume lies in Guneratne s admirable skill in amassing a profusion of details about these products, cultures, times, locations, conventions, and traditions; only a scholar with a deft hand and archival fortitude could weave together accounts of hundreds of Shakespeare productions into anything resembling a coherent narrative. Indeed, the word that most often came to mind when reading this book was 'encyclopedic.' " - Renaissance Quarterly