Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Publications
• Shakespeare Quarterly

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Shakespearean Heritage and the Preposterous "Contemporary Jacobean" Film: Mike Figgis's Hotel



PASCALE AEBISCHER


Mike Figgis's Hotel (2001), which contains a film-within-the-film adaptation of John Webster's Duchess of Malfi, is representative of an emerging corpus of screen versions of Jacobean drama that aggressively pitch themselves against the conservative nostalgia characteristic of mainstream screen Shakespeares. Hotel is deliberate in its use of anachronism, narrative disjunction, and irreverence toward its source text, troping the revival of Webster's play as both cultural cannibalism and the production of an easily digestible "fast-food McMalfi." The contemporary Jacobean aesthetic it espouses is preposterous, in George Puttenham's terms, in its deliberate misplacing of temporal and spatial relationships to articulate transgressive female desire that challenges the structures of the film industry and early modern society alike. Tracing its descent from Derek Jarman's queer Tempest (1971) and Edward II (1991) and setting itself against the Shakespeare heritage industry as represented by its immediate predecessor Shakespeare in Love (1999), Figgis's Hotel employs digital technology, improvisation, and intertextual dialogue to challenge not only Shakespeare's cultural hegemony, but also the domination of the heteronormative male gaze in conventional cinema. If Hotel is a film "about" how to produce a fast-food McMalfi for a contemporary audience, Figgis's use of the preposterous contemporary Jacobean aesthetic makes The Duchess of Malfi "about" the making of Hotel and "about" man's control of transgressive female sexuality in the medium of film.



Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623