Blog Post 1: The Tempest

Blog Post 1 — Victor Trevino — The Tempest


1. The Tempest is a somewhat vanilla betrayal story from shakesspear. There are about three main sub-plots having to do with the lust for power and the wilingness to decieve for these ends. First it is Prospero ousted from his dukedom. Then Antonio and Sebastian plot to kill Alonso and Gonzalo and finally Trinculo plotting to kill Prospero in his sleep. There is but one female character in the whole play I believe and shes pretty much a blowup doll. Theres an element of forgivess with how Prospero forgives Alonso but it all seems really adhoc.

2. The film began to grow into the pace of a Shakespearan play by the middle portions. Early on the such as the first boat scene was sort of awkward since dialogue was pretty much just regurgitated rather than acted, but as maybe the actors settled into the pace and cadence that is Shakesspear I thought the acting got stronger (with the exception of Chris Cooper, who was just awful).Before looking into when this movie was made I was sure it was made in the early 2000’s judging by how bad the special effects were, the addition of the CGI scenes such as anything with Ariel and the spirit hounds was extremely offputting.

3. The film did its best to recreate Shakesspear but it is difficult to bring heavy stimulous from wardrobe/setting/specialFX and try to mix it with dense Shakespear dialogue. The clash of the demand for the viewers attention just detracts from the experience as a whole. The gender swap of Prospero was interesting and necessary — The play certainly did not pass the Bechdel test

4. Roger Ebert:  — He pretty much asserts that Julie Taymore missed the mark as far as capturing Shakespears tone and meaning, but he does agree on the gender change of prospero and enjoyed Hellen Mirrens performance.

Sholomo Shwartzberg: — He claims the film “rarely comes to cinematic life” which I would have to #agree.

SI RosenBaum: — He really goes on a tear about the poor special effects, once again I feel like this is spot on criticism and just has to be said.

I want to piggy back off Rosenbaum because my main gripe with the file would have to be employment of CGI. Rosenbaum suggests: “Maybe if [Taymore] had stuck to puppets and masks [rather than CGI], the flesh and blood beneath them would have been more animated.” I just really could not agree more. The film felt cringeworthy in its exectution when it relied on CGI, in effect the script of the play was for no good reason competing with flashy visuals.


5. The film apadtion of The Tempest struggled in all the places you would expect of a Shakespear adaption and added more woes to itself with its own CGI budget. The fundamental leap from taking text to film is the visual representation of other wise simplistic or non exsistant imagery in the source text. The element of now showing instead of telling is the difficulty of going from text to film. The Tempest maybe tried to over compensate for the showign by planning to incooperate CGI for the supernatural elements of the play. The result was a removal of all things magical and left to the imagination in a shakespearan play and an insertion for a contrived and rushed pixelized version. Besides the difficulty with the CGI, the overall pace of the film had no rythm, since Taymore wanted to stay as faithful as possible to the play instead of interpreting and taking liberties, much of the scene juxtaposition just feels clunky and forced. When adapting a book to film there are important decisions that need to be made from the beginning on how you will capture a certain interpretation of the book, recreating a Shakespear and doing it absoulute justice is not just difficult, its also kind of pointless. Why recreate something that is already been done so well. The job of Taymore should have been to regimagine the play but I think she maybe was not bold enough break the play and ended up making a dud of a movie.


2 thoughts on “Blog Post 1: The Tempest

  1. You have a lot of good points i really agree with the mixed mess that was the CGI, particularly with Ariel, his whole gender question and shape was really detracting, and the other then the gender change there wasn’t a lot of change to the play, and the gender change was very mild, not a serious revamp, Propera was played pretty straight. I also think they didn’t know what to do with a lot of the dialog- my very favorite line is in the first few minutes “None that I love more then myself” but they didn’t know what to do with the boat scene… or a couple of scenes i think they took too seriously that made the following comedy bits really disjointed, and this happens esspecially when cgi is mixed with everything else, like when the fire dogs attack it was a really poorly planned scene.

  2. A decent first attempt at this assignment. You make a number of good points in your analysis of the play, the film, and the adaptation. But there’s also a lot of your personal evaluation of the material, rather than analysis. You’ll want to be careful in how you use “I” language and personal opinion, and a thumbs up or thumbs down mentality. Your online research links are OK, but you should avoid reviews in the future. Try instead of find sources at social networking sites, at online journals, and using the UMD library website. Hints on how to do that:

    Your critical argument, while it does include criticism, reads more like another review (or a recap of the reviews you looked at) rather than you identifying and taking a stand on a controversial point. I strongly suggest that you review the “frequent problems” blog entry, because most of these problems show up in your blog entry:

    Finally, there are a lot of unnecessary typos in your entry. consider turning on your blog-based spell check. If you don’t know how to do so, let me know and I can walk you through it.

    8/10. Joseph Byrne. ENGL329B.

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