Hamlet and Macbeth Anatomized. Postmodern Hungarian Film Adaptations of Shakespearean Tragedy

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Room 201
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 5:30pm
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Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 5:30pm
The early cult figures of multimedia experimentation in Hungary devoted special attention to Shakespeare’s great tragedies which invite a logic of staging where the theatrical representation may become an extended cartography of the mind, a mapping of the heterogeneity of the early modern subjectivity. Gábor Bódy, one of the first specialists of the video technique in Europe, staged and then filmed Hamlet  in 1982 in a peculiar setting where the theatrical space is an immense cross section of the protagonist's skull. Béla Tarr, who later grew into the internationally acclaimed director of the "long take", produced a film version of Macbeth in 1981 which is set in the underground caverns of Buda Castle with one single uncut camera movement of 62 minutes. In my presentation I will examine how the mental dissection of the protagonist is represented in these productions simultaneously with a corporeal anatomization of the subject, resulting in a double anatomy which brings together the early modern inwardness and the postmodern take on the body. 
Attila Kiss is Associate Professor and Head of the English Department at the Institute of English and American Studies of the University of Szeged, Hungary, where he is also co-director of REGCIS, the Research Group for Cultural Iconology and Semiography. He studied at the University of Szeged, the University of Oregon and Indiana University. His publications include Contrasting the Early Modern and Postmodern Semiotics of Telling Stories (Edwin Mellen, 2011), and Double Anatomy in Early Modern and Postmodern Drama (Szeged: JATE Press, 2010). His recent article on ‘Macbeth as a Tragedy of Consciousness on the Hungarian Stage after 1989’ appeared in the special section of The Shakespearean International Yearbook (Ashgate, 2013). The focus of his current research is on the representations of anatomy and corporeality in English Renaissance revenge tragedies.