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Dogmatic Shakespeare: a recognition of ghostly presences in Thomas Vinterberg's Festen and Kristian Levring's The King is Alive

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This article explores the relationship between a number of film products of the Dogme New Wave and the various intertexts at play in their creation; it poses questions about the very nature of adaptation and the interplay between so-called precursory texts and their seemingly adapted offspring. In particular, it interrogates the ways in which Vinterberg's Festen (1998) and Levring's The King is Alive (2000) echo, at a conscious or a subconscious level, performative and ideological facets of Shakespeare's Hamlet (1601) and King Lear (1608) respectively.

Keywords: Dogme95; Festen; Shakespeare; The King is Alive; adaptation; intertext

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: De Montfort University.

Publication date: September 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Adaptation, or the conversion of oral, historical or fictional narratives into stage drama has been common practice for centuries. In our own time the processes of cross-generic transformation continue to be extremely important in theatre as well as in the film and other media industries. Adaptation and the related areas of translation and intertextuality continue to have a central place in our culture with a profound resonance across our civilisation.
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