Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and Cyberspace
Purdue University Press, 2009, 2011
Edited by Alexa Alice Joubin and Charles Ross. This book tells the story of adaptations of Shakespeare in Hollywood films, Asian theatres and cinemas, and as video games in the cyberspace.
What is entailed in the cultural practice of screening, in both senses of the verb, Shakespeare in transnational audio-visual idioms in the modern times? The past decades have witnessed diverse incarnations and bold sequences of screen and stage Shakespeares that gave rise to productive encounters between the ideas of Asia and of Shakespeare. Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (Macbeth, 1957) and Ran (King Lear, 1985) are far from the earliest or the only Shakespeare films from Asia; around the time Asta Nielsen’s cross-dressed Hamlet (1921) was filmed, gender-bender silent film adaptations of The Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona were being made in Shanghai. In the other direction, Hollywood and the global economy in general have brought Asian cultures forcefully into the Western cultural register, as evidenced by the mediation and reception of Shakespeare and world cultures on screens big and small, including silent film, television, feature film, documentary, and such media as online games, anime, and YouTube.