Saturday, October 10, 2009

News from Germany (Zwei) -- by way of Hollywood

The other cup of news today comes via the pop culture website, which features an interview with (German native, now Hollywood based) director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Patriot, 2012).

There have been murmurs in Oxfordian circles for years about Emmerich's desire to make a biopic of Edward de Vere as "Shakespeare." Now, according to this new interview, principal photography on Emmerich's de Vere pic Anonymous begins, Emmerich says, March 22. Interview excerpt after the jump

Quoth Mr. Emmerich:
It’s been eight years I’ve been trying to do this project. It was always supposed to be my next movie but this time I’m really doing it because I’m already set to shoot on March 22nd and I’m the casting process right now which for me is the most kind of nerve-racking because you have to make decisions. And I start shooting in four or five days the first plates in England...

It’s about how it came to be that William Shakespeare was not the author of his plays. It’s not [Christopher] Marlowe, it’s [Edward] de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. It’s kind of like a political thriller. It’s about who will succeed Elizabeth and the cause of that thriller, the Essex Rebellion, we take on, and we learn how the plays were written by somebody else. ...

Well it’s very well researched. The writer is John Orloff (”A Mighty Heart”) and he’s been working on the script for two years before I got involved and he did a really, really good job and I just discussed it with several actors who are very knowledgeable about that time and I’m really pleased how accurate it is. Naturally, for dramatic reasons you sometimes alter facts but it’s pretty well-researched.

[End interview excerpt]

I unfortunately don't have anything more to report other than the above. Full disclosure: I am unaffiliated with Anonymous -- and indeed will be posting something on this site soon about another project which does use "Shakespeare" By Another Name as its foundation.

Meantime... onward and upward to Mr. Emmerich as well.

News from Germany (Eins)

Two posts today about news from Germany (or Germans working in the U.S.) -- First, German author Kurt Kreiler has just published a new Oxfordian book (Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford).

According to German correspondent Robert Detobel, writing for the Shakespeare-Oxford blog, Kreiler's tome has met with at least one favorable review, a translated excerpt (by Detobel) after the jump

This from the Rhineland Mercury:

In 1920 Looney found the needle in the haystack . . .

In Germany it was possible to be informed on de Vere’s war adventures, his politic quarrels, his engagement in the theatre … since 1995 when Walter Klier for the first time summarized Looney’s findings. Ten years later the US author Mark Anderson presented old and new “evidence“ and came to the conclusion that Shakespeare was “one of the most autobiographical authors that ever were“.

Now a new, comprehensive book has appeared from the pen of the long-standing German Shakespeare researcher Kurt Kreiler, a historical-biographical-stylistical analysis provided with new findings and concentrating on de Vere’s cultural tradition, his individuality and his poetic art. A homage, also suitable as initial reading, to the “master of poetical self-reflection“, the artist of love rhetorics, a soul-knowing tragedian and an illusionsless illusionist. Reasonable doubts that de Vere is Shakespeare are no longer possible. But no really good myth will ever proceed from thence: the man is too complicated, his life already too well investigated, not appropriate as projection surface. Good myths ought to be simple, incredible and homely.

[End of review]

To be clear, I haven't yet seen the book, nor would I be able to do much with it if I did. (My French is rusty, my German non-existent.) But with great notices like this, in such prominent German media, I'd certainly be curious to know what any German-speaking readers of this blog think about the book.

Onward and upward, Herr Kreiler!

UPDATE (Oct. 23): We now hear word of a second strong review in favor of Kreiler's book in the Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche. "A fascinating novel (?) of circumstantial evidence" is what the reviewer is calling this tome. ("mitrei├čender Indizienroman") The headline of the article, most of which unfortunately is behind a subscription wall, reads "Cover Name Shakespeare." ("Deckname Shakespeare")
[hat-tip to German correspondent H.W.]