Filmmaker: Olivier Bertin

Sonnet 58 by William Shakespeare

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Mary Ann Walsh shines as a bartender with attitude in this spoken-word interpretation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 58. Directed by Olivier Bertin for The Sonnet Project, where the film’s page notes the poem’s intended subject: “an emotionally enslaved lover, the object of his affections behaving wantonly while he quietly suffers, unquestioning.” But the best thing about the Sonnet Project films I’ve watched so far is the freedom with which the directors have reinterpreted the texts.

And of course the specific New York location always co-stars in the film. This time it’s the White Horse Tavern in Manhattan. As the webpage puts it,

The White Horse is perhaps most famous as the place where Dylan Thomas drank heavily, returned to the Chelsea Hotel, became ill, and died a few days later of unrelated causes. Other famous patrons include James Baldwin, Bob Dylan, Richard Farina, Norman Mailer, Jim Morrison, Delmore Schwartz, Hunter S. Thompson, and Mary Travers.

Another of the White Horse’s famous patrons is Jack Kerouac, who was bounced from the establishment more than once. Because of this someone scrawled on the bathroom wall: “JACK GO HOME!” At that time, Kerouac was staying in an apartment in the building located on the northwest corner of West 11th St.

About the same time, the White Horse was a gathering-place for labor members and organizers and socialists, as well. The Catholic Workers hung out here and the idea for the Village Voice was discussed here. The Village Voice original offices were within blocks of the White Horse. Much of the content was discussed here by the editors, a practice we at NYSX believe would be much approved by W. Shakespeare.