Helen Mirren may have made more notorious films in the late 1970s (Caligula, SOS Titanic), but this experimental Hamlet was easily her most adventurous. She plays both Gertrude and Ophelia in a production revolving around the play's recurring notions of doubles, mirrors and parallel motivations. Hamlet himself - or themselves - is played by identical twins Anthony and David Meyer. The heavily truncated and reshuffled text makes this is a challenging watch for those less familiar with the play - but it's a rewarding one.
Hamlet was the film directing debut of Spanish-born Celestino Coronado, who made it for just £2,500 as his Royal College of Art diploma piece. Other cast members included civil servant turned gay icon Quentin Crisp as Polonius. Coronado paralleled his RCA studies with his role as artistic director of the Lindsay Kemp Company, with whom he later collaborated on the film A Midsummer Night's Dream (1984) and many other theatre pieces. Hamlet is dedicated to the then recently deceased Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, also known for his controversial reinventions of classic texts.