ANSWERS: 6
  • because Hollywood considers that everyone wants to see that, regardless of the fact that most of its movies that have rampant violence, nudity or swearing rarely make a profit. The movies that do are the moderate ones and children's movies, but try telling the Hollywood elite that.
  • Hollywood is not interested in education , just in the bottom line of profit and loss . I am afraid that nudity will bring more profit than the play as it should be. Although a lot of Shakespeare was quite bawdy.
  • I think there's a perception in Hollywood that including nusity and brutish violence somehow makes a film "grittier" and more honest. I personally don't have a problem with either nudity or violence, where it serves a purpose, but I think there is a tendency to include it where not necessary in a bid to appear "daring". I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't really offer a judgement on how I feel about it in this particular case. Out of interest how old are your students and does your school have a policy on this kind of thing? If they're 15 plus (beyond the giggly stage), provided the nudity isn't explicitly sexual (and I can't see why it would be) I don't see why it would be much of an issue. There's nothing inherently offensive about the naked human body, and kids see far worse on evening TV programmes. Perhaps if you got permission slips from parents you could get round the issue?
  • i found out somewhere thta the nudity is just not to titillate. it was a venetian law that prostitutes were supposed to be bare breasted so that its confirmed that they were women, not transexuals. homosexuality was forbidden
  • hollywood is out of touch with most people...and they don't seem to care that the films with the most nudity and gratuitous sex and violence are not the moneyspinners....
  • 1. The "nudity" you're asking about is bare breasts and is historical accuracy. Prostitution was legal in Venice and was openly practiced by men and women costumed as either gender. Venice passed law that enforced women prostitutes to keep their breasts bare so that one could easily tell if they were hiring a man or a woman, and to easily know they were hiring a prostitute, not just flirting. 2. Radford's (the director) choice here connects well to his numerous other choices that take liberties with the Shakespearean text. One clear arc in these artistic liberties underscores the play's portrayal of antisemitism, portraying Venetian Christians as viceful persecutors, and building Shylock's humanity. This makes Shylock's final and ultimate dehumanization in the courtroom scene all the more tragic. Here's some support for that claim: a) The movie's 10 minute intro scene is not in the play. It gives the audience historical context and also underscores the antisemitic violence in even the "most liberal" city of its time. b) Shylock's monologue about Antonio in Act 1 Scene 3, "... I hate him for he is a Christian, but more than that ... He lends out money gratis and brings down the rate or usance ...", is cut to a single line "How like a fawning publican he looks." c) The Christian businessmen, Salerio and Salanio, are often shown wearing del Arte masks on their heads as they walk around. Masks were fashionable in the period when out carousing, or attending opulent parties. Masks were not commonplace fashion accessories that one would wear to the marketplace, like a hat or scarf. This seems to imply that Salerio and Salanio are perpetually going to or coming home from masquerades and parties. It might also suggest a two-faced element to their characters. In both cases, it makes a statement on their moral character. d) The climatic scene between Salerio and Salanio in which we learn Antonio's fortunes are lost and he might be forced to repay his loans with a pound of his own flesh is set in a brothel. It opens with a shot of two men gambling at a table covered with food and wealth, then moves to Salerio and Salanio discussing Antonio's fortunes as they carouse with prostitutes. How does all of that connect to bare breasts? Radford seems to have made the choice to openly portray bare breasted prostitutes, an image that might shock some movie goers, to reinforce his premise that Christian behavior in this story is nothing short of shocking. On a personal note: if you cannot handle open educated informed truthful discussions of lewd, crass, bawdy sexuality and appallingly disturbing violence with your students, you'd do better to avoid Shakespeare entirely and perhaps Elizabethan theater as a whole (see: Christopher Marlow's Edward II).

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