A Marathon of Another Sort


So yes, I have been running more of late, YAY!  For Mother’s Day, I took myself out for a leisurely run, intending to run 5 miles.  On my way back from the halfway point, I ran into Larry (our flip-flop man), so I turned around & ran with him to catch up.  I ended up getting in 6 miles altogether at a very slow pace – except while I was running & chatting with Larry.  He was running again, not walking – and running at a nicely challenging pace, too!  :)

This morning I got a later start than I wanted, so I only got in 3 miles.  I’m still waiting on my new vibrams, so my toes & heels were a bit smooshed & complaining.  I love them so much, but the 6 miles did make my feet a wee bit sore.

A Marathon of Another Sort

In honour of the release of Hamlet here in the U.S. on the 4th, I had myself a fantastic celebration…  with a Hamlet marathon!  Before Hamlet (Tennant) was done, I had already seen 5 film versions of Hamlet.  It is, without doubt, one of my favorite Shakespeare plays & has been for a long time.  I was over the moon when I heard that my favorite actor had taken on the role – and even more so to hear that they were doing a filmed version as well.  :)

I managed to find another filmed version via Amazon, so my marathon was made up of watching a total of 7 film versions of the play.  Each version has its own merits & downfalls, of course.  Here are the versions that I watched (of the 7 below, I had already seen 5 of them previously) in order of my favorites:

7.  Ethan Hawke – I’m not against modernizing Shakespeare, but this version was what I call “Speed Hamlet”.  His ‘To Be or Not To Be’ soliloquy consisted of a short clip of a video showing him holding a gun to his head & stating “To be or not to be”.  And that was it.  What I like best about it:  I’m not sure, to be honest – I’d have to watch it again to decide.

6.  Kevin Kline – He overacted the bulk of the play in a way that left me speechless.  Ophelia is quite possibly the one that I like the least (though I naturally do not like the character much).  What I like best about it:  the scene with Polonius & Hamlet – sticking the page from the book to Polonius’ forehead was a stroke of genius.

5. Mel Gibson – There is little in this version that is of value to me.  I physically cringe when Gertrude lunges for Hamlet in the bed scene.  What I like best about it:  the set, the costumes & Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia – she is my 2nd favorite Ophelia.

4. Laurence Olivier – I know that for many, Olivier is the perfect Hamlet.  Not so for me, I’m afraid.  He is too cold, cunning & emotionless for me to enjoy.  And a huge crime:  Rosencrantz & Guildenstern have been cut from it!  NO!  What I like best about it:  the Gravedigger scene, I think.

3. Derek Jacobi – I love Jacobi, I really do.  He is awesome.  His Hamlet is a happy in between of Branagh’s Hamlet and Tennant’s Hamlet.  He is both quiet, but emotional with moments of fantastic sarcasm.  The downside of this version for me?  Patrick Stewart as Claudius.  There are few differences between Stewart’s Claudius here & in Tennant’s Hamlet, sadly.  What I like best about it:  the Nunnery scene

2.  Kenneth Branagh – for years, my all time favorite Hamlet.  His Hamlet is quietly sincere & intense.  I love that nothing has been cut from it.  I normally can’t stand Ophelia, but Winslet knocks it out of the park in this role.  She is the best Ophelia of all that I’ve seen.  Plus, Jacobi as Claudius?  BEST one evah!  What I like best about it:  Branagh, Winslet & Jacobi!

1.  David Tennant – actually knocked Branagh off the #1 spot.  He is so expressive – if you were to mute the audio while watching, you could still tell just what Hamlet is feeling at any given moment simply by watching his expressions and body language.  Mercurial, physically expressive, with an amazing ability to convey the comedy in the play as well as the pathos – Tennant brings Hamlet to life like no one else has.   Oliver Ford Davies is the best Polonius I’ve seen, as is Penny Downie as Gertrude.  The setting, costumes & filming are all incredible & beautiful – simple, clean & classic with just that touch of modernizing.  Who would have ever thought that Hamlet in a t-shirt & jeans would work so perfectly?!  For those of you in the U.S., you can watch the whole thing on the PBS website here.  How can you not love PBS?!  :)  What I like best about it:  Everything except Claudius and Ophelia’s mad scenes.


Making slow progress on the next sock pattern.  I’m not used to cuff down, so I’ve had to knit/rip back a few times to get it right!  I’m also working on a scarf for myself out of yarns leftover from making a Sheldon for a friend’s son that just turned one.  The yarn is Opium, a blend of cotton, silk & acrylic – it is wonderfully soft & I just cannot bear to toss out the leftovers!  I had a skein of it in cream, so the scarf I’m making has cream, purple & green in it.  I’m really loving how it is working out & hope to have it finished before too long so I can post pics of it!  :)

Today’s Ravelry Search

I decided to do a slightly different search today.  This one is for those of you looking for pretty shawls/wraps to make out of sock yarn.  They are all also free patterns available through Ravelry!  None of these are mine – please click the picture to go to the Ravelry page.

* Designed for the 10 in 2010 shawl group!

* This pattern is perfect for one skein of sock yarn - you just knit until you run out! Awesome.

* SO pretty! An excellent shawl to add beads to, if you are so inclined!

* Gorgeous!!

* Crow Prints Shawl - very pretty!

* Pretty crocheted shawl!

* Another lovely crocheted shawl! The up close shots on the pattern page are wonderful!

* Angel Wings - lovely!

* I like the shape of this one, very nice!

* This designer is the one that inspired me to knit my rainbow pooling experiment scarf - gorgeous!.

* Very pretty, I've included this pattern before, I think. Well worth another look, though!

* Free pattern

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

About H3Dakota

Runner. Knitter. Geek. Vegetarian. Dog Lover.
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12 Responses to A Marathon of Another Sort

  1. susetheslowknitta says:

    it’s fascinating watching different actors take on major roles. I enjoyed Tennant’s version a lot.
    I love different versions of Henry V too, Branagh’s is excellent.


    • H3Dakota says:

      Yes, it is such fun to see how different actors portray the same role. I also had a mini-marathon with Twelfth Night (another of my top faves), which was almost as much fun. My #1 favorite has yet to be displaced in that (Trevor Nunn’s 1996 version with Imogene Stubbs as Viola). :)


  2. Janet says:

    Those shawls are lovely! I just watched that version of Hamlet with my teen daughters, David Tennent is their favorite actor too. We came across the dvd at costco and I was really surprised it was already released here.


    • H3Dakota says:

      It took around 5 months to be released on this side of the pond! :) But I am thrilled that PBS is making it available online for so long. :)


  3. cadburyskeeper Jen says:

    Thank you for all of the Hamlet reviews. I think I’m going to jump to the top of your list this weekend :)


  4. Amy says:

    Love that second crocheted shawl (the gray one). Simply gorgeous!


  5. peony67 says:

    Darn I can’t see th epictures from here…must remember to check when I get home…
    On Hamlet, cool having that marathon… Though it is not my favourite Shakespeare play, I still love it, and go figure, though I’ve seen it in theater in numerous versions, on film I’ve only seen the Laurence Olivier version… would love to catch the Kenneth and David versions…


    • H3Dakota says:

      Definitely check them out, there are some real treasures there! ;) Hmmm… I’m guessing your favorite Shakespeare play would run more to the Romeo & Juliet variety? My second favorite is Twelfth Night, though Much Ado About Nothing is right up there too. As I find more, my faves might change, but I suspect Hamlet will always be nearest & dearest to my heart (in spite of Ophelia’s character!).


  6. peony67 says:

    I guess Hamlet was ruined for me when the first time I’ve seen it in the theatre the lead was layed by a fat(tish) balding middle aged man… Yes, of course I love Romeo and Juliet, and those two you mentioned are in the top three…
    BTW I can see the pics from home now, great slectins…as always:-) Love the second one..


    • H3Dakota says:

      Oh my! Well, I think you would change your mind about Hamlet if you could see Tennant’s and/or Branagh’s versions. For you, definitely Branagh – you will LOVE it. :)

      Ah, yes – I thought you might like that shawl!


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