Shakespeare Lives, launched by Sir Ian McKellen and the British Film Institute, is a yearlong celebration of the Bard's influence on culture, edication and society. Breaking Bard, the film component of this celebration explores the connections between 17th century literature and the primarily 20th century art form. Among the takes on the iconic Hamlet in this series are Laurence Olivier's traditional 1948 portrayal and and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead from 1990 in which he elevated the prominence of two minor roles in the story. Productions of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Othello highlight the work of directors Baz Luhrmann and Roman Polanski, actors Ethan Hawke, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino and more.
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