Shakespeare’s plays have been set in such varied locales as the Old West, a dystopian future, and on planets far, far away. In this course we will view four films in their entirety, the first two using Shakespeare’s language, the second two inspired by his plays but going off in their own direction. Time will be set aside before and after the movie for background and discussion, and classes will generally last from two to three hours depending on the length of the film.

June 6 Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes directs and stars, with Vanessa Redgrave, set in the present, 2011) 123 min. 

June 13The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company, starring Simon Russell Beale, film version of an HD live theater production, 2017) 159 min. 

June 20Tempest (Paul Mazursky, directs, stars John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Susan Sarandon, Molly Ringwald, and Raul Julia, set on a Greek island in the present, 1982) 142 min. 

June 27Forbidden Planet (Classic science fiction adaptation of The Tempest, stars Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, 1956) 98 min. 

Suggested reading: Only if desired: Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and The Tempest.

Richard Matturro, a native of Rye, New York, holds a doctorate in English with a specialization in Shakespeare and Greek Mythology. After sixteen years at the Albany Times Union, he spent fourteen years teaching literature at University of Albany. He is the author of numerous newspaper articles and six novels.

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OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
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