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Film Programs
Shakespeare as Cinematic Experiment: 1908–1921
Ciné-concert: Richard III (1911 and 1912)

August 27 at 3:00
East Building Auditorium

Donald Sosin, Joanna Seaton, Jeffrey Chappell, Christian Simmelink, Stephen Czarkowski, Neil Brown, and David Sisk in performance

Two versions of the play illustrate a striking transformation in cinema from 1911 to 1913. In the first Richard III (Frank Benson, 35mm, 1911, 23 minutes), British actor-manager Benson has recorded highlights from his stage performances at Stratford, clearly anticipating an audience familiar with the tragedy. The American producer known as Shakespeare Film Company, on the other hand, could make no such assumption — patrons were often new immigrants or migrants from the rural heartland. The multireel Richard III (James Keane, 1912, 35 mm, 55 minutes) features famed tragedian Frederick Warde in an adaptation based on Shakespeare and on Colley Cibber’s 1699 reworking. Print from the Library of Congress, restored by American Film Institute. Score commissioned by the Westchester Film Festival.

Frank Benson as Richard III
courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library

Film Program

The National Gallery of Art’s film program provides many opportunities throughout the year to view classic and contemporary cinema from around the world. 

View the current schedule here.


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