Today I saw Anonymous, Roland Emmerich's exploration of the contested authorship of Shakespeare's works. It is here:
I am not going to write a review of the film. I am going to do something slightly different, which is this.
In the film, Ben Jonson says to the man who wrote Shakespeare's plays (not William Shakespeare!) "You are the soul of the age". Not only was Shakespeare the soul of the age, he is the soul of all ages. Shakespeare's body of work is a colourful tapestry, representing and reflecting life in all its richness and diversity. If you have a problem and you are looking for guidance and a solution, you will find it in Shakespeare's plays. If you are seeking to understand a person, you will find the character in Shakespeare's plays. When I explained to someone that I self-defined as "English" they asked if that was enough to nourish and sustain me culturally. To which I said "But Shakespeare was English and when you have Shakespeare what more do you need?".
Burn those self-help books now, use The Complete Works of William Shakespeare instead!
London Film Festival. Browse the full programme and book tickets here: