Last week, we explored the Criterion Collection’s wonderful new edition of Repo Man, and tomorrow another spring release will make itself available for purchase: Richard III. The legendary classic from Laurence Olivier now feature, not only a restored version of the film but a wealth of commentary, behind-the-scenes stills and posters, as well as essays on the feature. And what better way to commemorate the occasion than with one of cinema’s most beloved and acclaimed directors, Martin Scorsese, talking about the film for himself.
First released in 1955 and shot in VistaVision and Technicolor, Richard III is absolutely stunning but in the years since has fallen victim to the fading and staining of tiem, preventing the film to be seen in its full beauty. But now, with the Criterion Collection’s stunning restoration of the classic, you can see the film has it was meant to be viewed, as well as now hear Scorsese tell us about the process. In this eight minute video, the iconic director talks about Richard III’s "falling into disrepair and delineates the painstaking processes of finding the best surviving elements and bringing the film back to a version as close as possible to what Olivier intended."
So if that tickles your fancy, you can learn more about the ravishing Machiavellian masterpierce HERE and HERE and purchase the DVD for yourself tomororow.
For over 500 years, the skeletal remains of King Richard III have been lurking beneath a municipal car park. Back in the late summer, it was reported that an archeological dig under a parking lot in Leicester, England revealed bones with spinal abnormalities and a "cleaved-in skull" that were suspected to belong to the King who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
Announced today, DNA tests by British scientists have confirmed "beyond reasonable doubt" that the bones found during the dig last August are that of the once-King. And from the remains—which are to be buried at Leicester Cathedral—mitchrondial DNA was extracted and matched to Canadian Michael Ibsen, a direct descendant of Richard III’s sister, Anne of York. "I never thought I’d be a match, and certainly not that it would be so close, but the results look like a carbon copy," said Isben who reacted with "stunned silence" when he saw the results.
According to archeologists, Richard III "appears to have met a violent death" with two blows to skill and mistreatment of the skeleton. The leading archaelogisit on the project Richard Buckely said "the unusual position of the skeleton’s arms and hands suggested the king hay have been buried with his hands tied."
In August, Philippa Langley from the Richard III Society, said "It is such a tumult of emotions, I am shell-shocked. I just feel happy and sad and excited all at the same time. It is very odd." And speaking to the anxious wait leading to today’s conclusion, she said, “I’m not a person who paces, but I’m pacing now…there has been so much myth and mystery surrounding Richard. Hopefully it’s a mystery we can now start to unravel.”
The skeleton in question is a bit dinged up, to put it lightly, which is consistent with accounts of the 15th-century king being the last English monarch to die in battle: the skull had been “cleaved” by a “bladed implement,” while a “barbed metal arrowhead” was found lodged in the vertebrae. And here I thought the War of the Roses sounded like a perfectly civil bloodbath.
What’s more, there’s a distinctly familiar shape to the bones.
[T]he spinal abnormalities suggest the individual had severe scoliosis, though was not a hunchback, as he was portrayed by Shakespeare in the play of the king’s name.
Even so, the scoliosis seen in the skeleton would’ve made the man’s right shoulder appear visibly higher than the left one.
Nonetheless, it should take another twelve weeks to confirm that—wait a minute, did I read that correctly? Shakespeare was exaggerating the physical appearance of a historical personality in his bio-drama? FABRICATING FACTS? Next you’ll tell me that he didn’t base The Tempest on an actual wizard he knew. My god, he’s no better than Jonah Lehrer.