12 May 2007

It's about time Mr. Branagh...

Take a seat before you read this...

I just got word (OK, so it was a few days ago, but I've been super busy --sorry!) from the Poor Yorik catalogue and Amazon.com that Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet is available for preorder!!!

I know, I know... Take a moment to let that sink in. 11 years later, the thing is ready for release! Here's the skinny:

The release date for Branagh's Hamlet will be August 14 (yes, 2007!)

It will be a 2-disc special edition, at $26.95 US dollars ($33.95 Canadian). This is for the standard version DVD. Details on the blu-ray and hd editions to follow.

At the same time, Warner will be releasing the following at $19.95 USD ($24.95 Canadian):

Othello (Laurence Olivier )
Romeo and Juliet (George Cukor )
Midsummer Night's Dream (Max Reinhardt)


All four titles in a box set at $59.95 US dollars ($74.95 Canadian)!

I'm not sure how I am going to pre-order yet, though. I have an extensive collection of Shakespeare on film (including many adaptations that do not attribute the plot or storyline to the Bard), but I don't have the Olivier Othello, and that's key for me. But I do believe I have the other two.

I have to be very, very careful visiting the Poor Yorik site! They have so many things that my academic and intellectual side can rationalize me buying ("Oh, I can SO use this in my class on adaptation..." or "Well, I ~have~ to have the Olivier, it's practically required!" or "I want it."). For example, they have the Shakespeare Manga that a student told me about this term, they have the Pacino collection (including Looking for Richard), the HBO mini series Elizabeth I, and countless other things that need to be in my collection.

This is dangerous. I'm obsessed with all things Hamlet and all things dealing with Elizabeth I. The more I sit here and write this, the more convinced I am that I need that Manga of Hamlet. (Rationalization: I can totally use that in my Pop Culture and Lit class, just like I use the 4 issue Marvel edition of Dracula. Plus I want it.)

Yes, I am aware of how bookish this post is, but hey... that's what I do. It's what makes me smile. It's what keeps me from being utterly disgusted with the state of the world today, and what keeps me from being a complete scold. It's what keeps me from snapping out when I see stupidity on grand levels, because if there is any poetic justice in this world, I know how things will end. And who doesn't believe in glorious poetic justice?

For many people the way to their heart is through their stomach, or... well, other corny sayings. Not me. Give me a book, and you're golden. Give me Shakespeare, and you're getting some serious brownie points. So allow me my indulgences! The moral of this story, boys and girls? Know your target audience...

Now... where's my credit card...