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Critical Analysis Of Hamlet

Decent Essays
Throughout my research process, I was only able to find a select pool of articles critiquing Svend Gade and Heinz Schall’s 1921 film, Hamlet. I believe the lack of critiques on the film stems from a variety of factors including but not limited to the films age and the fact that the film was made in a different country, which makes me think that there may be a larger pool of critiques written in German that have not been translated. Luckily, the critique I was able to locate, “Expressionist Shakespeare” by J. Lawrence Guntner, provides an in-depth and thoughtful analysis of the lesser-known Hamlet. This critique presents the reader with a multi-faceted look Hamlet, which, above all, gave me an understanding and background of early German film and the film’s unsung backbone, Asta Nielsen. Throughout the article, Guntner provides a complete analysis not only of the adaptation of Hamlet, but also the history of German films post-WWI and how Gade and Nielsen attempted to “restore [the German film industry] … to its pre-war level of artistic expression” (91). According to Guntner, even before WWI left the German film industry in tatters, prior to WWI, “German film was still considered a poor relative of theater” (90). Additionally, many German actors only starred in films as a way to “supplement their salaries” (91). Asta Nielsen, who was passionate about filmmaking saw Post-WWI as an opportunity to popularize the media that she felt such a strong passion for. Paired with Gade,
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