'The Shakespeare Films of Grigori Kozintsev'

A local professor has penned a new book on movies about The Bard. 

Dr. Michael Hudgens, who teaches philosophy and writing composition at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City, authored “The Shakespeare Films of Grigori Kozintsev," according to a news release from the school.

Hudgens is no stranger to publishing. His previous books include “Sisters of Fate: The Myths that Speak Themselves,” released in 2013.

Kozintsev was a celebrated Soviet-era filmmaker and theater director. In 1964, he adapted Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” to film and in 1971 he finished an adaptation of “King Lear.” Kozintsev was born in 1905 and died unexpectedly in 1973, only months after "King Lear" was screened in America.

Critic Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe reviewed Kozintsev’s work and wrote, “Paradoxically, the two most powerful films of Shakespeare plays were made not in Great Britain but in the Soviet Union.” Sir Laurence Olivier ranked the lead actor Innokenti Smoktunovsky as the best “Hamlet,” better than his own portrayal.

Hudgens’ work has value not only for film directors and scholars, but for anyone who loves Shakespeare, according to the release.

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The book's description on Amazon says: “Sizing Shakespeare to the compressed view of the camera lens is no small feat. This undertaking is covered in these pages, which reveal a remarkable director’s kaleidoscopic vision as he takes a text from stage to film. Out of this emerge new ways for an ordinary reader to view Shakespeare, and a greater understanding for those who teach his plays, particularly the challenging King Lear."

“The Shakespeare Films of Grigori Kozintsev” is 158 pages long and published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The book is available on Amazon.com.

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