Pathway: Orlando\'s Intertextual Nature with regards to Potter\'s casting choices. by Yasmin Coutain-Springer
Looking at Orlando through the realm of casting, trying to understand the significance of casting Swinton and Crisp in the film.
1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 4 - Queen Elizabeth I (Quentin Crisp) in the film
Quentin Crisp - a key homosexual icon of the early 1970s. Transgendering role particularly significant as Queen Elizabeth...notably said to have quite an androgenous appearance
Video file, Digital, Selected Scene Commentary by Sally Potter
Potter outlines her choices for casting Swinton as Orlando, and Crisp as Queen Elizabeth.
1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 61 - (Tilda Swinton) and Publisher (Heathcote Williams) in the film
This still epitomises the juxtaposing images of man and woman and what constitutes either. Swinton, although potraying the female Orlando at this point in the film, still holds an ambiguous/androgenous look with her harsh stare and hair neatly tied back. This could be seen as commenting upon the move towards female independence in the early 20th century, with perhaps a hold upon women being rather masculine. A sense of transgendering still very much prevalent.
1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 4 - (Tilda Swinton) in the film
Tilda Swinton has the essence of an effeminate young boy in her appearance and body language. The direct look out onto the viewer, Potter comments, is a medium used to address the viewer straight on, as the novel does with the words on the page. Strikingly powerful device!
Original Novel, Page 200, page 201, pencil side lines
The original novel details the plot in which the female Orlando and Shelmerdine get married, and Orlando no longer owns the estate due to her poorness following the lawsuits. Whereas Potter chooses to twist the narrative slighlty to reveal that Shelmerdine and Orlando have a child together, which if it had been a boy, would have permitted Orlando to keep her inheritance over the estate. However, having had a girl she is denied this. This says a lot about the limitations imposed upon women from the 17th Century, and perhaps up until nowadays.
Video file, Digital, Screen Test - Quentin Crisp reading Elizabeth I
1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 62 - (Tilda Swinton) and 's Daughter (Jessica Swinton) in the film
A sense of progression for women who now have the freedom of choices. Liberation from the former constraints.