Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Emmerich's Anonymous? We have a movie, too.

Click here (or above) for Mike Rubbo's 8-minute YouTube clip on the Marlowe-as-Shakespeare theory.

The clip consists of excerpts from Rubbo's 2002 PBS/Frontline documentary, Much Ado About Something, as well as some recent commentary by the filmmaker. Some great snippets with Shakespearean scholar Jonathan Bate, Stanley Wells (chair of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust), actor Mark Rylance (former artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe and now appearing in Anonymous), and Marlovians Peter Farey and the late Dolly Wraight.

"Much Ado About Something is a film of ideas - well, notions, anyway - that are bound to stimulate discussion, an aspect long missing from documentary [. . .] Mr. Rubbo is an old-fashioned rabble-rouser, and he knows a good story when he finds it. And he's got one in this case, with its adherents to a cause and their whipsaw articulation of thoughts." Elvis Mitchell, New York Times

" . . . has enough wit, energy and geniality to please not only the fanatical adherents on either side, but also people who know nothing about the subject and think they're not interested." Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Emmerich Orloff Anonymous
Click here for the blog's home page and recent content.THE MARLOWE PAPERS


Sabine said...

I'd love to see and to own that documentary. If it is witty and entertaining, it could be used as an introduction for interested newcomers. Unfortunately it's only available in region code 1. Even if I can play the dvd on a lap top I can change the region code only up to 6 times. Has anyone an idea, how this conundrum can be solved? Are there copies without region code available?

As to "Anonymous": This movie is harmful to our cause in more than one way. I's not just, that it promotes the wrong candidate. Since there are so many problems with the "Earl of Oxford" theory, it can be debunked fairly easily. The problem is, that many people equate the debunking of one candidate with the debunking of the whole Authorship Question. They don't look any further, since they assume, that the other candidates probably won't do any better. Unfortunately many mainstream media promote exactly that view. My heart sank, when I found out, that the main article of the newest "Sceptical Inquirer" edition is about the Shakespeare Authorship Question.I have not read it yet, but, knowing the style of the magazine (which certainly has it's merits as well), the Authorship Debate will be placed firmly in the Alien-,Flat earth-, Yeti-category. My hunch is, that "Anonymous" won't do much to advance the "Earl of Oxford" theory, but it might play into the hands of the Stratfordians.

By the way, one of the wittiest, harshest and most comprehensible summing up of the Authorship question has been done by one of my all time favourite American authors: Samuel Clemens alias Mark Twain, who most certainly can't be accused of having ever been a starry eyed conspiracy theorist.He's got it in a nutshell full of crackling fun, and I didn't mind at all, that his favourite candidate is Bacon, since Bacon was the "It-cadidate" then, and Twain had no reason to question Marlowe's Deptfort death, since the documents of the case had not turned up yet.
"Is Shakespeare dead?" by Mark Twain is available as a free ebook at

BedfordLady said...


DresdenDoll said...

Poor Prof. Bate; how could he not know this about V & A! Not that I knew it, but he SHOULD have known.

Javier212 said...

A documentary worth seeing again. Saw this at Film Forum in Manhattan years ago. I remember leaving thinking, "It couldn't be anyone else except Marlowe."

Saw "Anonymous" yesterday; amusing, confusing, silly, uneven.

FXO'Toole said...

Thank you, Sabine, for information about Mark Twain.

Anonymous said...

Who are the most likely people living in "Shakespeare's" time who would have known who the real author was? (ie- best chances to dig into these people's lives to find clues)

Maureen Duff said...

Sabine, the entire transcript of Mike Rubbo's documentary can be found on

Not the same as seeing the documentary itself but it lays out the arguments quite clearly.

Sabine said...

Thank you very much. I will check it out. Of course it's not the same, but I will get a more complete picture of the documentary.
I fail to understand, why a pbs documentary has to be area coded. :(

Cynthia Morgan said...

We have Mark Twain's Is Shakespeare Dead? in The Marlowe Studies library! Just scroll to the bottom of
the book and essay list on the right side of the page and you'll find it.