Ian McKellen’s New Shakespeare App

Hey all, I found an interesting article I thought was worth sharing. Sir Ian McKellen recently launched an iPad app that he believes will make Shakespeare more enjoyable and interactive for students. So far only The Tempest is available, but if he releases any of the plays we’re studying this semester I would be very interested in purchasing the app, our beloved Stephen Fry is apparently in consideration for reading the next plays released. Have a happy break!


ENGL 311 Blog: Jay Dhillon. Thoughts on Film,T.V, and Live Theatre

How does the medium effect Artistic Expression?

Out of the three mediums, the one that is least conducive to artistic freedom and genuine innovation probably is television. Television faces a variety of constraints that the other mediums do not. Firstly, T.V is a lot like advertising in that it needs to “hook” the audience. Television programs compete for airtime with numerous other programming, which is offered to the customer without recieving payment. The T.V watcher is free to browse and switch channels if what he is watching disturbs his sensibilities, or worse, if he is bored. Furthermore, Television programming is designed for longevity, a Darwinian fight for survival in an uncompromising market. Television writers want to be in a job for renewed seasons, and must keep the audience happy in the future, so everything they write and direct must be anticipitatory towards creating loyal watchers. They also have to content with the fact that they are produced and broadcasted by large cable companies, who have an interest in maximizing their profit through maximizing viewership and often have little or no investment in the quality of the production. This is why we often see television programming as  less authentic and less subtle in its dialogue or imagery than film or theatre. It must cater to the lowest common denominator, sensationalism, sex and violence is interesting to a very large number of people and is more secure economically than expressing ideas and visual interpretations that risk being misunderstood or not appreciated by many. Worryingly, the limitations of telivised productions applies to the news Media suprisingly accurately aswell.

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