Tragedy: A Brief Annotated List Of Recommended Reading and Viewing
These titles are plays and/or movies that you might find interesting in light of the Tragedy course.
- Macbeth – Classic story of the lust for power and its results; ambition can be a bad thing. Many film versions and fairly frequently done on stage.
- Romeo & Juliet – If you don’t know it, check it out; if you’ve seen it, try reading it. Many film versions (director Franco Zeffarelli’s is classic); often done on stage.
- Titus Andronicus - lots of blood and viciousness in this largely revenge-stoked story. See Julie Taymor’s film version with Anthony Hopkins…vicious.
- Richard III – as much a comedy as tragedy, it shows the wicked King who steals the throne and pays the big price. Richard is fun to watch as he tells the audience how he’s going to proceed and then does it…then loses it all.
- The Merchant of Venice – As much romantic and comedic as tragic, there is a new film version out with Al Pacino that looks promising, but I haven’t seen it.
- Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller) – magnificent story about the dark side of the American Dream. Tough acting required; Dustin Hoffman did great film version.
- Antigone – Sophocles‘ classic Greek tale of woman wronged who seeks justice.
- Krapp’s Last Tape – if you don’t hate Beckett, this short, 1-man play shows a man looking back on his life and where it’s come; more tragic than comic, but some of each.
- Munich - (2005) - Steven Spielberg's "prayer for peace" follows the PLO attack on Israeli athletes in 1972 and the ensuing attempt at revenge by hunting down and killing the attackers. I think it's a little reminiscent of a classical Greek tragedy where "blood demands blood" and no one wins.
- Dead Man Walking – Modern story with Sean Penn as convicted murderer sentenced to die and Susan Sarandon as the nun trying to counsel him and save him. Excellent.
- Requiem For A Dream – Warning! this is about as dark and depressing a film as I’ve ever seen! But if you’re ready for it, it’s a brilliant film.
- Dancer In The Dark – a fresh new look at the movie musical genre, this sad tale shows a girl whose dream life sustains her in her harsh life. Stars singer Bjork, who’s great.
- The Godfather – There are three movies: the first is the best, but the others are good. It tells the tales of a Sicilian immigrants who seek the American dream through crime.
- Apocalypse Now – A modern telling of the Joseph Conrad short novel, Heart of Darkness, this is set during the Vietnam conflict. A fantastic movie.
- Citizen Cane – almost Shakespearian film by Orson Wells about the rise and fall of a early 20th Century newspaper tycoon, modeled after William Randolf Hearst. Some say this is the greatest film ever made.
- Serpico – possibly Al Pacino’s greatest film, it follows the true story of an honest NYC cop who runs headlong into a world of corruption. The ending is not really a downer.
- Deer Hunter - A group of working-class pals decide to enlist in the army during the Vietnam War and find it to be hellish chaos -- not the noble venture they imagined.
- On The Waterfront – An all-time classic about the struggle of “the little guy” – Marlon Brando.
- Taxi Driver – Dark story of another “little guy” pushed too far by modern world -Robert DiNiro
- Angels In America – Amazing play (made into film by HBO); centers on men with AIDS in ‘80s
- One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest – a comi-tragedy w/Jack Nicholson…Academy Awards…