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Hamlet By Brook / Brook By Brook
Hamlet By Brook / Brook By Brook
Director: Peter Brook
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2005     3hr 24min

Theater director Peter Brook, renowned for his innovative and controversial stage plays (Marat/Sade; The Mahabharata), interprets Hamlet in a gripping, stripped-down production that highlights the tragic heart of the play....  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Peter Brook
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: ARTE
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/10/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 3hr 24min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Handsome, but Missing Much
Fritz Zimmerman | SF, CA | 01/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This may be a very good example of a Peter Brook production, but I don't think it's a good interpretation of 'Hamlet'. Too much is cut, and while some sequences have been merely transplanted from their original places, they're too often replaced in contexts where they simply don't make sense.

More distressingly, all of Shakespeare's humor has been stripped from the performance. The changes of tone in the original provide texture and depth to the play; they're not 'inconsistencies'. At 134 minutes, it's good that the production is short, because a full three-plus hours of such unrelenting earnestness would have been rough sledding indeed.

This production is apparently famous as 'Peter Brook's "Hamlet"', which I suppose is appropriate because it's not quite Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'..."
Two interesting films
CW | 09/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I've studied Peter Brook for years. I find his methods fascinating. I love his Mahabaharata.

In Hamlet, Peter Brook pares down the play to its essentials. It makes for a very quiet, meditative look at Hamlet, the character, which allows us to explore him deeper than a more flamboyant portrayal. Adrian Lester does an excellent job.

In Brook by Brook, we catch a small glimpse of Brook as a person. The documentary doesn't capture him as his books do, but it still educates the viewer on a most innovative individual."
Hamlet and Brook: A meaning insightful into theatre
Theatre & Teaching | Cooma NSW, Australia | 10/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Attempting to capture any theatrical production on film is always a difficult process. Of course, we are not viewing the film in a commercial context but as an audio visual recording of theatre. Even if recorded as television with a multiple camera set up, with multiple takes, and minimum audience participation, we need to understand it as a theatrical recording in this different light. As a theatre lover and Drama teacher, I really appreciate and respect any new resource that attempts to offer an insight into this unique theatrical process.

This companion package of Brook's "Hamlet" and the "Brook on Brook" documentary is no different. It actually presents an excellent and successful opportunity to study both a significant theatre production and an important theatre practitioner in Peter Brook.

I particular found Brook's Hamlet a moving and emotional performance that encouraged me to discover addition layers of meaning of this familiar play through Brook's interpretation. This Hamlet offers us a pared back view of the play, exploring what is the essence of the tale. There are numerous cuts to the full text that help to facilitate this retelling of the Hamlet fable. More importantly, this Hamlet offers us a practical chance to study how some of Brook's theories and ideas practically manifest within this theatrical/filmic production.

Personally, I loved this chance to get an insight into Brook's theatre brain. If you are a student of theatre rather than just a shakespeare lover, this DVD package is worth a go!"
Dikran Utidjian | New Jersey, USA | 10/20/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Very slow and I suppose clear. Hamlet may be depressed and indecisive but this seems just hollow. I know the participants are all terrific. Actors and director. But it seems rigid and correct. Dull."