I feel I should write something about Shakespeare today. He is, of course, a major influence in my life as a writer; I first came across him, like most British children, in GCSE English. We studied Macbeth, and from the first few lines I was in love with the sheer richness of the language. Something in the way he used words blew me away, both in their rhyme and rhythm and the imagery they conjured up. However, that is not an uncommon experience, and, truth be told, I’ve not had many dealings with the Bard for quite some time.
I was mucking around on Youtube yesterday afternoon, though, when I found this. It’s the first part of a two part appraisal of Klingon Hamlet. I’m flagging it up here for a couple of reasons: not only does it tie one of my favourite filmic franchises into a current event, but it is a great example of fandom merging with cinaphilia. The guy who made it is clearly very intelligent; he knows what he’s talking about, both in terms of Shakespeare and Star Trek. He has obviously sat down and thought about what he wants to say. More to the point, he alludes to a wide range of references, both classical and contemporary, mixing them with a great deal of confidence to form persuasive arguments. It strikes me that this is exactly the type of hybrid of fandom and cinephilia I speculate about in my Master’s. There is a type of joviality in his delivery – the type of playfulness we often see on Youtube videos of it’s type. Yet that is mixed with a high-brow refinement and an at least Bachelor’slevel knowledge of film. What he says in this as well as his other videos reminds me of the young turk writers of Cahiers du Cinema, unafraid to engage with texts from all sorts of levels, throwing in references to all manner of classical and contemporary sources.
I am thus deeply impressed with the stuff this guy makes. In fact, watching a few of his videos yesterday, I began to feel a little stupid: the arguments he was making seemed obvious, yet had not occurred to me before he put them. His knowledge is not only wide ranging, but rich and deep. He puts me to shame. Yet this impressive knowledge is communicated, not in prose, but in chatty videos, expertly edited to include all kinds of references. It is that combination of style and content which interests me: a new type of engagement with film, and a new way to display that engagement.