Anonymous, opening on October 28th, is a political thriller advancing the theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford who penned Shakespeare’s plays; set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her. The film stars Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave and David Thewlis.
Shakespearean conspiracy theories have been around for centuries and the film does not seek to advance one or the other, but rather it presents the facts and leaves it to the viewer to make up their on mind on the subject. The sets are gorgeous, the acting isn’t half bad and the costumes are as authentic as costume designer lisy Christl could make them. Christl boiled, shrank, then dyed and painted the fabrics to transform them into director Roland Emmerich’s desired look for the authentic atmosphere of the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England and the movie’s picture style with low light that comes from candles and fireplaces.
“With the new developments in digital cinematography, we could really take advantage of candlelight and firelight,” says Director of Photography Anna Foerster. “For a period piece, using available light – candles, fireplaces, whatever comes in from outside – makes it real.” Together with Emmerich, she developed the look of the film from the paintings of Johannes Vermeer and Georges de La Tour. “Vermeer uses the soft, diffused daylight that comes in through windows; de La Tour would have a single source of light, a candle or a torch.”
|Actress Joely Richardson in the role of Princess Elisabeth Tudor, later Queen Elizabeth I.