The Brattle Presents ‘Shakespeare Out of the Box’ at Boston Public Library

west-side-story-posterAs a part of All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare at the Boston Public Library, the Brattle is excited to program Shakespeare Out of the Box, a brief series of some of the more outside of the box adaptations of the Bard’s many great works. From musicals to science fiction and from US high schools to the African savannah, these selections prove that Shakespeare’s narratives are truly universal. All films screen Mondays (November 14–December 19) at Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston St, Boston.

Monday, November 14
at 6:00pm
(1961) dir Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins w/Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn [152 min; digital]
This certified American film classic features a streetwise musical take on Romeo & Juliet.

Monday, November 21
at 6:00pm
(1999) dir Gil Junger w/Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt [97 min; digital]
The writing team of Karen and Kirsten Smith cleverly transpose The Taming of the Shrew from 16th century Italy to Padua High – your typical 20th century American high school.

Monday, November 28
at 6:00pm
(1994) dir Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff w/Mathew Broderick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane [89 min; digital]
While not a direct adaptation, this Disney classic owes much to Shakespeare’s Hamlet – with a young lion stepping in for the melancholy Dane and the African savannah replacing the castle Elsinore.

Monday, December 5
at 6:00pm
(2003) dir Vishal Bhardwaj w/Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri [Digital; 130 min]
This Bollywood-meets-Shakespeare adaptation recasts the “Scottish Play” as a gangster epic set in contemporary Mumbai and starring the great Irrfan Khan as the titular, ruthless ruler. And, yes, of course there are musical numbers!

*Please note: Due to circumstances beyond our control, Julie Taymor has had to cancel her appearance and we have chosen not to screen TITUS without her.

Monday, December 12
at 6:00pm
(1985) dir Akira Kurosawa w/Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu [162 min; digital]
The great director Akira Kurosawa adapts King Lear as a medieval Japanese epic with Tatsuya Nakadai inhabiting the role of the aging and doomed king.

Monday, December 19
at 6:00pm
(1956) dir Fred M. Wilcox w/Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen [98 min; digital]
Perhaps the most out-there adaptation in the program, FORBIDDEN PLANET hurls the Bard into space with a sci-fi interpretation of The Tempest.