Director Michael Almereyda names Orson Welles as a primary inspiration for his modern take on Shakespeare´s "Hamlet." "Wells shot his ´Macbeth´ in twenty-one days, describing it as a rough charcoal sketch of the play. I wanted to film Shakespeare with the spirit, roughness and energy. I was hovering around a few possibilities-relatively obscure plays-and I was resisting ´Hamlet.´ It´s too familiar, too obvious, and it´s been filmed forty-three times. T.S. Eliot compared it to the Nona Lisa, something so over-exposed you can hardly stand to look at it." But "Hamlet", both the play and the character, seemed to pursue Almereyda. "I passed highschool kids quoting it on the street. I thought back to my first impressions of the play, remembered its impact and meaning for me, and wondered why all filmed Hamlets have featured middle-aged actors. The part is hugely challenging, but I was convinced a younger person could handle it, fly with it."
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