'I've been killed, but I'm not dead':
Remains of Hamlet in the French Telefilm L’Embrumé (1980)
Sarah Hatchuel & Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin
The purpose of this paper, which is part of an ongoing research on the French TV adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, is twofold—to study how L'Embrumé turns Hamlet into a detective film story, as well as to examine the consequences of such transformation. A 1980 review in Télé 7 Jours (a popular weekly TV magazine in France) claimed that the film "was not Shakespeare, but a good whodunit", perhaps in order not to discourage potential viewers. This assertion, which seemingly opposes Shakespeare and a good detective story, raises the question of what remains of Hamlet after such a translation. What is left of Hamlet's (and Hamlet's) mysteries within such a frame? Is it not a long shot to impose upon a play which revels in unresolved ambiguities the filter of a detective story which, as such, ends up in solving every problem? What does the statement "this is no Shakespeare" reveal about the reception and promotion of a telefilm which, nevertheless, still appears as a Shakespeare film through the very negation of its Shakespearean ascendancy?
This article was first published in Shakespeare on Screen: Hamlet. Ed. Sarah Hatchuel & Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin. Publications des Universités de Rouen et du Havre, 2011. 257-76 <http://purh.univ-rouen.fr/node/176>. It is reproduced here as a clickable PDF document with kind permission from the PURH.
How to Cite
Hatchuel, Sarah and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin. "'I've been killed, but I'm not dead': Remains of Hamlet in the French Telefilm L'Embrumé." In Shakespeare on Screen in Francophonia (2010-). Ed. Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin and Patricia Dorval. Montpellier (France), University Montpellier III, Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l’Âge Classique et les Lumières (IRCL): 2012. URL: http://shakscreen.org/analysis/analysis_i_have_been_killed/. Originally published in Shakespeare on Screen: Hamlet. Ed. Sarah Hatchuel & Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin. Publications des Universités de Rouen et du Havre, 2011. 257-76.