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From Stage to Screen: A Man for All Seasons (1966)

By Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 19, 2020 | In Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast

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The film adaptation of Robert Bolt’s award-winning play about St. Thomas More, A Man for All Seasons, swept the floor at the Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Costume Design the year it was considered.

In honor of St. Thomas More’s upcoming feast day, June 22nd, James and Thomas discuss the film and the problem of adaptation with friend and filmmaker, Nathan Douglas.

Next time, we discuss the first installment of Dekalog, the 10-part series of films directed by Polish auteur, Krzysztof Kieślowski. Join the discussion in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CatholicPods/

Links

Nathan Douglas, Motet Films https://nwdouglas.com/

Interview with More scholar Louis Karlin https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/robert-bolts-man-for-all-seasons-christian-saint-or-hero-selfhood/

Audiobook of More’s Dialogue on Conscience https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/st-thomas-more-dialogue-on-conscience/

Other films discussed

Lawrence of Arabia—so many horses! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lChJz2DSpsE

Mad Max: Fury Road—practical effects https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD8jK7qyC9w

Richard III (Olivier)—scene mentioned as example of conveying theatrical experience “subjectively” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDxnXgYPnKg

Richard III (McKellen)—used as example of “cinematic” adaptation of a play https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjJEXkbeL-o

A Hidden Life—prison scene with wife, as compared to More’s prison scene with family https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAubpnKP3CU

Russian adaptation of Hamlet (full movie with subtitles) https://vimeo.com/337079580

Dekalog

Of all the films on the Vatican list, Dekalog is one of the two most difficult to find. The only place it can be streamed online is with a subscription on https://easterneuropeanmovies.com (which is, surprisingly, legal).

The best viewing experience will be the recent restored edition on Blu-Ray/DVD from Criterion (https://www.criterion.com/films/28661-dekalog), but it’s pricey. Older editions on Blu-Ray and DVD are available for considerably cheaper on Amazon and elsewhere. But for many people, the most convenient way of seeing Dekalog may be to borrow it from your local library.

Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/

Criteria is hosted by Thomas V. Mirus and James T. Majewski.

Thomas is a pianist living in New York City. He is the director of audio media for CatholicCulture.org and hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast. See full bio.

James is a stage, film, and voice actor based in New York City, holding a BA in Philosophy and an MFA in Acting. He is the host and narrator for Catholic Culture Audiobooks. See full bio.

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