NI Celebrates Shakespeare on Film
Cinemas up and down the country continue to explore the Bard's impact on the big screen with a wealth of special events still to come before September
The opening weeks of BFI presents: Shakespeare on Film have already seen a Q&A with Kenneth Branagh beamed live from Queen's Film Theatre to over 70 countries worldwide, a medieval buffet at the Galgorm and screenings of some of the finest film adaptations of the Bard's timeless works.
But the UK-wide series of over 300 events exploring his perennial influence on cinema has much more still to come over the summer months. From Belfast to the North Coast, from the traditional to the experimental, venues across the country will continue to demonstrate how the screen has transformed Shakespeare's words and vision with must-see filmic interpretations and unique, all-new experiences.
During June Queen's Film Theatre will play host to further events, including a live musical performance by Megan McKinney accompanying Kiss Me Kate on June 14, turning the Taming of the Shrew adaptation into a toe-tapping tour-de-force. There's also the chance to see Hamlet on June 21 and My Own Private Idaho on June 28, with insightful talks lined up alongside both.
Cinemagic – the Little Bard season from Ireland’s premier children’s film festival for young people sees a ‘Script to Screen’ film-making workshop for 8-12 year olds, an animation workshop for 12-16 year olds and screenings of Bill, Gnomeo and Juliet and The Lion King at the Ulster Museum.
Strand Arts Centre – the jewel of East Belfast hosts the 1961 version of West Side Story with live dancers from NiStars, a family-friendly immersive screening of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a 20th anniversary screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet.
Belfast Film Festival – Belfast’s finest purveyors of the spectacular will bring the Bard to their famous big screen, showing Henry V, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing in Crescent Gardens in South Belfast, followed by a collection of the best of Silent Shakespeare in Dunluce Castle.
The festival will also bring the weirder side of the Stratford master to the Beanbag Cinema with rarities from the back catalogue, before finishing the season with a screening of the Vincent Price classic, Theatre of Blood from 1973 in the opulent surroundings of the Harbour Commissioner’s Office.
It’s a tremendous line up, with a film for every occasion presenting an infinite variety of ways to enjoy the greatest of writers. For a full list of screenings and events still to come visit www.filmhubni.org. To find out more about the UK-wide initiative visit www.bfi.org.uk/shakespeare.