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90 minutes · 1987
Jean-Luc Godard's zany, English-speaking quasi adaptation of the Shakespeare play (1987) has the most complex and densely layered use of Dolby sound in movies. The "itinerary" of the film—one can't quite consider it a plot—involves a post-Chernobyl view of culture in general and Shakespeare's play in particular. Among the performers, mainly used by Godard as a painter might use colors, are stage director Peter Sellars, Molly Ringwald (as Cordelia), Burgess Meredith (as Lear), a semi-incoherent Godard (as someone called Professor Pluggy), and, in smaller parts, Norman Mailer, his daughter Kate Miller, film director Leos Carax, and Woody Allen. The film qualifies as a perverse provocation on more than one level—and one of those levels, believe it or not, is Shakespeare. It may drive you nuts, but it's probably the most inventive and original Godard film since Passion.

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