Daily Archives: September 7, 2008

The Sourcebooks Shakespeare

These are just brilliant, though I admit I am judging from just two — Othello and Macbeth — which (glad to say as a pensioner, sad to say from the publisher’s viewpoint) I bought last week at the remainder shop at the end of the Devonshire Street tunnel at Sydney’s Central Station. I have been going through Othello with a student in the past few weeks, and that motivated the purchase. I had no idea whether it would be worth the $9.95, but it emphatically was. 🙂

There is a website too: THE SOURCEBOOKS SHAKESPEARE. Read all about them there, and even hear some of the CDs that accompany them.


On Othello, for example, you get speeches and extracts, sometimes in pairs so you can compare interpretations. You may contrast Janet Suzman’s amazing 1987 South African production starring John Kani (left below) with the historic Paul Robeson (right below) interpretation from the 1940s. Even more amazing, there is F Scott Fitzgerald doing a speech from Act I Scene 3, and if that isn’t amazing enough, a recording of Edwin Booth, the brother of the man who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, performing the role in 1890! The CD is beautifully narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi. On top of that are essays on aspects of the play, and a very user-friendly complete edition. Just great!

othello1 robeson

Both images are links…

This post is also on English/ESL.


Posted by on September 7, 2008 in Best read of 2008, education, English studies, Shakespeare


DVD time

Thanks to Sirdan I have been able to see the 2007 movie There Will Be Blood directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, who is just superb. It is beautifully done but more than a tad melodramatic. The religious elements were, I thought, ham-fisted. See what others thought on the IMDB site. The DVD includes a fascinating documentary on the US oil industry — made in 1923.


The other DVD came from Surry Hills Library, and a very peculiar movie it is: Pulse (2006), directed by Jim Sonzero, but one of the writers is the famous Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street).


It had its moments, but I don’t regard either my computer or my mobile phone at all differently after the experience… 😉 It is apparently a remake of a 2001 Japanese movie: see DVD Pick: “Pulse” and Pulse has dark images and an original scary concept.


The first comment below led me to Rock Haven – Coming Out and Being Saved, about a movie I had never heard of, and a blog of interest:

My name is Jon-paul. I live in Oakland, California with my partner Gary. I was born on the island of Guam.  I enjoy traveling, writing, film and meeting interesting people.


Posted by on September 7, 2008 in film and dvd, movies, other blogs


2008 Beijing Paralympics Games – ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

So I sat up until almost 2am again to watch the 2008 Beijing Paralympics Games – ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). I’m glad I did. It was a great opening ceremony — no anticlimax after the main Games, and arguably even better, if different.


It was also just marvellous not to have the ceremony punctuated by commercials! The ABC commentary was better than Channel 7’s had been a month ago, with light touches but genuinely informative — and they knew when to shut up: unlike the commentator in the clip below, I’m afraid. We also found out why Adam Hills was one of the ABC commentators: he himself is missing a foot, something I hadn’t known.

It was heart-stopping seeing that guy hauling himself up hand-over-hand in his wheel-chair!


Posted by on September 7, 2008 in Chinese and China, Olympics 2008, TV