Our Five-Minute Shakespeare in Santa Fe project has now reached the point where I can binge-watch ISC videos. Having spent the morning doing just that, I can say that the nine clips currently up on our YouTube page provide a most enjoyable hour-plus with great scenes, fine acting, and familiar Santa Fe locations. There are classic Santa Fe interiors, iconic sites such as the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Scottish Rite Temple, and there’s even an inside joke—Quinn Mander doing one of Cassius’ speeches from Julius Caesar, filmed at the Eldorado Community Center: locals will recognize the site as the scene of the recent, much-in-the-news backyard-chicken lawsuit drama. With an enthusiastic effort going on to unseat a member of the Eldorado board of directors who instigated the lawsuits, the filmmakers thought it seemed the perfect place for a little pop-up Julius Caesar!
Have a look, if you haven’t already (and if you have, have another binge!). I could watch Kelly Kiernan, Barbara Hatch, Anna Farkas, and Sterling White do that scene from Antony and Cleopatra all day.
We just got an email from a viewer saying this about the Muse of Fire clip:
“A friend of my wife’s was visiting, who knows absolutely nothing of Shakespeare and possesses not the least literary culture, so I did a little comparison game. We showed her first a video of Kenneth Branagh’s Muse of Fire, and then the ISC version. “Which of the two did you like best?”
Answer? “The ISC Muse of Fire.”.
Why? “Because I understood Shakespeare’s words better.”
If you are a poet, these things are very, very important. I have a Kenneth friend who writes for Ars Pulchra Magazine who actually agrees with me that the ISC team “liberated Shakespeare’s text.”
Music to our ears.
I’ve heard from numerous people that Paul Walsky completely owns Shylock in his clip from Merchant of Venice, and that Ariana Karp and Quinn Mander’s Beatrice and Benedick contains some exquisite acting. I have to say that Ariana very effectively turns a condominium patio at Campanilla Compound in Santa Fe into Richard II’s prison cell (complete with haunting avian background).
And now there’s more to love: Robyn Rikoon does a lovely Juliet waiting for her Romeo at director Suzanne Lederer’s home. Robert Benedetti and Nicholas Ballas perform a Falstaff and Hal that actually brought tears to my eyes during the filming. And then there’s Quinn’s persuasive and dangerous Cassius, shot in a quintessentially Santa Fe light that adds an extra dimension of its own to the text.