Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nothing truer than truth?

Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre , headed by Director Dan Wright, PhD, announced this week  that Anonymous director Roland Emmerich will receive the center's Vero Nihil Verius Award of Artistic Excellence at its annual conference September 6-9, 2011. Emmerich's film will be shown Sept. 7, 2011 in downtown Portland, Oregon as part of the conference activities. An a la carte fee structure is available for the conference. Anonymous is currently scheduled for general release in the USA on October 28, 2011. 

Emmerich's award may appear ironic since Edward de Vere's Latin motto, vero nihil verius, can be translated, "nothing truer than truth", and Emmerich does not claim his film purports to be the truth. Emmerich and Anonymous screenwriter John Orloff are quoted in a 2010 interview for Timeout.com
. . . 'Anonymous’ posits the idea that Oxford was not only the author known as William Shakespeare but the illegitimate son of Elizabeth. Moreover, the pair had an incestuous relationship that produced a son, the Earl of Southampton (Xavier Samuel). ‘When Shakespeare wrote “Henry V”, he made things up and we’re making things up too,’ says Emmerich.  Orloff was, at first, taken aback by his director’s suggestion, though admits it makes for great drama. ‘I have done a lot of non-fiction-based movies and there is a point where you have to go with the emotional truth, not the literal truth, because the drama is the primary concern.’
The press release distributed by center director Dan Wright, itself, says that the film ". . . offers one possible answer" to the Shakespeare authorship question in a press release distributed this week:

PORTLAND, Ore. – July 20, 2011 – Prominent Hollywood director and producer Roland Emmerich will headline Concordia University’s Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre’s Fall Conference Sept. 6-9 in Portland, Ore.  Emmerich’s new film, Anonymous, speculates on a centuries-old question – did William Shakespeare really write the works attributed to him? – and offers one possible answer.

At the conference, Emmerich will receive the Vero Nihil Verius Award of Artistic Excellence, bestowed annually at the conference.  In addition, a posthumous award of Distinguished Scholarship will be conferred on the late Richard Paul Roe, author of the forthcoming book The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard’s Unknown Travels.  The book’s introduction is written by Concordia professor and conference director Daniel Wright.


The four-day conference will feature a screening and discussion on Emmerich’s latest film, Anonymous, scheduled to open in U.S. theaters Oct. 28, 2011.  The conference will also include presentations, papers and panels by several world-renowned Shakespeare scholars.

The daytime screening of Anonymous will be held in downtown Portland on Sept. 7, followed by remarks from Mr. Emmerich and discussions with a panel of Shakespeare scholars.  The event offers a rare opportunity to hear from the filmmaker of box office hits including Independence Day, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and more. 
"Concordia University’s Shakespeare Centre is pleased to bestow its highest award on Mr. Emmerich and is honored to host the Portland screening for his new film Anonymous," said Dr. Daniel Wright, professor of English and Director of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University.
Sponsors of Concordia University’s Shakespeare Conference include All Classical 89.9 FM, Oregon Film & Television Office, Portland Arts & Lectures, Portland Center Stage and Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.
For more information on the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre or to register for the conference, visit www.authorshipstudies.org or call 503-493-6223. Click here to view a trailer of the film.


About Anonymous
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds such as Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Sigmund Freud, namely: who actually created the body of work credited to William Shakespeare?  Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when scandalous political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles lusting for the power of the throne were brought to light in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.  Directed by Roland Emmerich.  Written by John Orloff.   Produced by Roland Emmerich, Larry Franco and Robert Léger.

About Roland Emmerich
Director and producer Roland Emmerich began his career in his native Germany. He studied film at Munich's Film School and his student project The Noah's Ark Principle went on to be shown in competition at the 1984 Berlin Film Festival. The debut feature was sold in more than 20 countries and earned Emmerich his initial credit. Subsequently, he established his own production company, Centropolis Film Productions and under its banner has both produced and directed a number of projects.

In 1992 his film-making platform moved to the States with the hits such as Universal Soldier, Stargate, and Godzilla and Emmerich made box office history in 1996 with Independence Day, which grossed over $800 million worldwide. A few years later, he directed and produced The Patriot, which starred Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger, and, more recently, the box office smash hits The Day After Tomorrow with Jake Gyllenhaal and 2012 with John Cusack and Thandie Newton.  Also among his producing credits is Trade. Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, the gripping drama portrayed the trauma of human trafficking across the Mexican border into the US.

About the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre
Concordia University's Shakespeare Authorship Research Center is an institute for study and research that is the only one of its kind in the world and is dedicated to inquiry into the origins and authorship of the works attributed to William Shakespeare. The Centre is the academic home of annual assemblies that bring together professors, teachers, students, playwrights, actors, directors and lovers of Shakespeare from all over the world to share research about and insights into the Elizabethan world's most acclaimed poet-playwright. www.authorshipstudies.org

About Concordia University
Concordia University is a private, Lutheran, liberal arts university located in northeast Portland, Ore. with a mission of preparing leaders for the transformation of society.  Founded in 1905, Concordia University serves nearly 3,000 students through its College of Education, College of Health & Human Services, College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences and School of Management. www.cu-portland.edu

For more information, contact Madeline Turnock, APR, 503-803-3729, 

NOTE 7/23/11: This post has been changed to indicate that the press release submitted to Oberon by Dan Wright does not quote him saying that the film ". . . offers one possible answer" to the Shakespeare authorship question, but that the release itself says this, not Professor Wright. Wright said, "There is no need to attribute to me any statements that the release does not specifically indicate are mine."