Hamlet (Russian: Гамлет, tr. Gamlet) is a 1964 film adaptation in Russian of William Shakespeare's play of the same title, based on a translation by Boris Pasternak. It was directed by Grigori Kozintsev and Iosif Shapiro, and stars Innokenty Smoktunovsky as Prince Hamlet.
Unlike Laurence Olivier's 1948 film, which removed most of the play's political dimension to focus on Hamlet's inner turmoil, Kozintsev's Hamlet is as political and public as it is personal. Kozintsev observed of his predecessor: "Olivier cut the theme of government, which I find extremely interesting. I will not yield a single point from this line."
Co-written by Pasternak and with a Shostakovich score, this late work of a Soviet hallmark, and Shakespeare enthusiast (who also adapted this play for the stage earlier) is regarded as his finest piece.
Kozintsev's Hamlet is as political and public as it is personal. A "post-Eisenstein realism" with the strong avantgarde aesthetics of Kozintsev lets even the landscape and architecture, climate and atmosphere play roles.
An event of ARCC Anglo Russian culture club, Kozintsev”s “King Lear” is coming in September.
In Russian with English subtitles.
Introduction and discussion: Natalia Rubinstein, in Russian, English translation is provided by Ludmila Razumova.
Natalia Rubinstein is a freelance journalist and literary critic. She was born in Leningrad and got her degree there. She then taught Russian language and literature and worked in Pushkin’s memorial museum at the Moika embankment, 12. After she left the Soviet Union (1974) she was editor of and contributor to numerous émigré publications in Israel, France, Germany, UK. She has been a BBC Russian Service producer for over 20 years. Natalia Rubinstein is now an active co-organizer of ARCC events.