Did you know Kurosawa influenced George Lucas and Star Wars? How do Asian films present transgender figures? How do cinema and theatre portray vocal disability? What are the links between Julie Taymor’s use of Bunraku puppets in The Tempest and Czech-Japanese puppet theatre? Why do critics repeatedly use the adjective “Shakespearean” to describe Bong Joon-ho’s quadruple Academy Award-winning Parasite (2019)?
Alexa Alice Joubin’s Shakespeare and East Asia (Oxford University Press, 2021) analyses the formalistic innovations in sound and spectacle in the films and productions of Japanese directors Akira Kurosawa and Yukio Ninagawa; uses of Shakespeare for remedial functions in Sinophone films and productions; conflicting reception of transgender South Korean films and touring productions to London and Edinburgh; and multilingualism in cinema and theatre of the diaspora in Singapore and the UK.
The book is structured around modes in which one might encounter Asian-themed performances of Shakespeare:
Prologue: The Cultural Meanings of Shakespeare and Asia Today
1: ‘To unpath’d waters, undream’d shores’: Sound and Spectacle
2: ‘Our toil shall strive to mend’: Politics of Remediation
3: An ‘isle full of noises’: Polyphonic Reception
4: ‘Divided in three our kingdom’: Multilingualism and Diaspora
Chair: Mark Thornton Burnett, Trustee and Director, British Shakespeare Association; Professor of English, Queen’s University, Belfast
Speaker: Alexa Alice Joubin, George Washington University
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