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Laurence Fishburne‘s performance in a new film version of Othello brings a raw sexiness to Shakespeare that blows the dust from stuffy O-Ley'el texts. as Alan Morrison reports.

()rson Welles has presence. l’lacido Domingo. in i g i *' . Verdi's opera ycrsion. suffers from the wooden acting that plagues many a tenor. Laurence ()liy'icr’s

blacking up is so embarrassing. you expect him toch down on one knee and burst into a cltoi'tts of

Laurence Fishburne and Irene Jacob in Othello, ‘a thriller driven by passion’

'Nlilllk‘s“. NU“. ill léN. l” l-lll'l's'ns‘c l'ilbl‘l’ll'llc- “‘9 Different physique. different yoicc. completely Parker. an actor who has played Iago to great

\ytll'ltl liils ;t \L‘I'L‘Cll ()tltcllo \\ lltt Ctlpltll'c‘s th illlllllill (“l‘l‘crcm unimul.‘ acclaim (m [hc \tugc. “(is “in afraid [0 bring [ogmhcr magnetism that‘s \‘ital if the plot thVL‘lUPIIICIHS Ul~ ,\s [)csiloiiioii;r actress from Jacob, best known for an international cast that fcatttres Shakespeare Virgins Shah'C\l’C1‘"C‘~\'l’liW “'1‘ l” “11Wit'lfk‘l'k'dll’llllY- her roles in The /)()II/)/(' life 0/ lei-unique and How l‘ishbtirnc. Jacob and British stalwarts Kenneth l“l-\lll‘lll'”s‘i\ MUN “l \OC'llW W C11” 5” “"d WWW“ ('o/nurs li’t'tl. also reckons her co-star has a strong liranaglt. .\lichael .\laloney. ‘I wanted to bring a

an air ofc\otic mysticism swirls around him. from sesual presence. ‘Yeahl‘ she says. eyes lighting up. freshness to the text. and Laurence. who has ney'er llls‘ ll'il‘ill WWW 0” lib WWW“ “91””th “W’flc” ‘Laurence has a lot of charismatic qualities in his spoken it before. has a natural ear for it.‘ the debut

staff he carries like a tnagical totem. It‘s easy to see

director asserts. ‘l le has a lyricism and art case with why l)esdcmona would spurn her father‘s wishes arid

the language. It‘s because he listens to it -- some

Ill“ l”‘*l“’l‘*9” "l'lc‘ "l “MS” I” “"l‘ ml" m“ 1“"”~‘”li ‘Laurence has a “It 0' Charismatic people who haye done Shakespeare all their lites cart llll‘ lllilll- quafities in his personafity. He has neyer do that. I would talk about the llow of the

liishburne. who came to the fore at the tender age of . - - s y'crsc. haying the words carry you through to the end llllCC” l” (“’I‘ImbR I'l/"H'U/VI’S" NM“ hi“ “"0 somethmg very rayal, very kmg-“ke. , of the emotion. and he would identify tliis as decades of film experience behind him. btrt has “sw ing“. giy ing it some "swing".' ctttcrgctl only recently as :t leading lttzttt. ‘I spotted I’arkor reckons his film is ;i ‘tlirillei' tlriy‘en by Laurence in Deep (‘m‘t'r about two years ago and l personality. He has something yery royal. yery king- i passion and that the Iago/()thello relationship is thought he had this incredible presence.‘ says like. What is yery sexy. I think. is that low: is a new partly that of a ‘buddy moy'ic'. Not really terms yott ()I/n'l/u‘s British director. ()liycr l’arkcr. ‘llc fitted in land for ()thello. He‘s a warrior. he’s not used to hear thrown about when classic drama is on the may much with thy y ision of the character. which is playing games~ by [me poetry. 'l he first night that agenda; but neither is l’ishburnc's assessment of his more youthful than usual. tnorc dangerous and ()liyer wanted to shoot Laurence and I together was 1 character the motlterfuckcr‘s a pirate. man‘ your sexual. Then I saw him in ll'lm/‘s‘ Low (in! ‘lo l)o ()thcllo and l)esdcmona's wedding night. and w c had l typical analysis. Shakespeare would be proud.

ll'it/i II." and that gaye me a lot of hope for his range. this feeling of two people spending their first night i ()r/nv/lo (Virus (1/ My (Mum, [filth/wry]. (Hi I’m In because he'd suddenly transformed entirely. together and that's a bit sensual. yeah." I l't’lt (ll/(l I/I(’ (ilusgmr l-i/m 'l'lmt/n' (w I”)? / .llur:

British comedies out there, and the film found a perennial fan-base. All the same, you have to feel a bit sorry for the film’s director. Bruce

without Wifhnail And I. ‘It helped, it i really did,’ he says. ‘People will probably remember me for Wit/mail l And I. You’re lucky to get just one Robinson sits with a bottle of wine, a l decent film in your cannon. Having A tag and a mop of long tresses, looking j something like this is great, really like one of the dipsomaniac satisfying, particularly as it was our l

mama- Ten years after

With the imminent release of Trainspotting, the subject of modern British cult movies is not far from the

characters he put in his film. He wrote first. It’s something that can never be 7 the semi-autobiographical script in touched and, to be honest, it’s helped . 1970, made it sixteen years later and me because it’s kind of hip. The thing then, for the next decade, watched the = is, it’s like the film is permanently

back of our minds, And, by Slals 0' Withnai’ AIM/991 tamOUS- current - it just turns over and over. coincidence, the granddaddy of this i . RiCha'd 5' 6'2"" has wo'ked With . Fifteen'VeE‘V'O'dsa SiXleen'Vea"°'dsi fledgling breed is back in the cinemas SCO'Sesev comma and Altman? Pal” new intakes into COIIBQCS, 3” ""359

McGann has just been cast as the lead kids are just getting into it. Most : in the "OllYWWd D'OdUCtion 0f 0' actors have a sell-by date, but this

this month to celebrate its tenth l Who. Robinson’s US trip climaxed in mm just keeps going on.’ (Hannah


birthday. Not that Withnail And I ever really disappeared, despite causing barely a ripple at its 1986 launch. Gradually word got around that this - .L -. -. . . . . was one of the most originafly funny Withnail Afld I2 ‘permanently CUTTER"

.2- l the box office flop Jennifer 8. . Fries) l McGann is the first to say that his Withnail &I Glasgow Film Theatre career wouldn’t have been the same and Cameo, Edinburgh, from Fri 16.

The List 9-22 Feb l9‘)6 23