Brazilian director swaps Saramago for Shakespeare

Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:12pm EDT
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By Fernanda Ezabella

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - After more than a year poring over Jose Saramago's book "Blindness" for the upcoming movie of the same name, Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles is embarking on a new literary journey with William Shakespeare.

Meirelles this week started shooting the TV series "Sound and Fury," about a Shakespearean theater group in crisis, and his next movie will be a loose adaptation of the playwright's comedy "Love's Labour's Lost."

"Shakespeare is a heavy drug," said Meirelles said in an exchange of emails. "The more you read, the more you want to read. Each line has poetry, philosophy, a deep understanding of what we are."

The movie is based on a Brazilian adaptation of "Love's Labour's Lost" by moviemaker Jorge Furtado, who is also writing the script.

The film, for which shooting will start next year, is set in New York and London, following a Brazilian boy who gets a scholarship to study Shakespeare abroad with students from around the world. In the book, he falls in love with an Arabian student.

The Brazilian TV show is based on the Canadian program "Slings and Arrows."

"It's a romantic comedy more about the actors than the plays, but it will have beautiful passages of Shakespeare works," said Meirelles, who burst onto the international scene with 2002's "City of God," a four-time Oscar nominated saga of violence in Rio de Janeiro's slums.

The 52-year old Sao Paulo native said he wanted to work with something lighter to balance the heavy themes of movies he has made in the last few years, including 2005's "The Constant Gardener," about a man who tries to solve his wife's murder in Kenya.   Continued...

<p>Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles attends a news conference for his film "Blindness" at the 61st Cannes Film Festival, May 14, 2008. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier</p>