Composed of what remains of the original footage, along with making-of rushes and newly shot interviews, pic inadvertently reveals not only the hollow concept at its core but an overall spectacular pretentiousness.

Determined to salvage something from his doomed experimental multimedia production “I, Hamlet,” producer Stanislav Semerdjiev took musicvid helmer Ivaylo Dikanski, paired him with original project helmer Greg Roach and cobbled together the embarrassing docu “The Hamlet Adventure.” Composed of what remains of the original footage, along with making-of rushes and newly shot interviews, pic inadvertently reveals not only the hollow concept at its core but an overall spectacular pretentiousness. Semerdjiev wants a “Burden of Dreams,” but Werner Herzog himself couldn’t get mileage out of this one. Prospects are close to nil.

“I, Hamlet” was to be a New Age retelling of the classic play, incongruously performed by dancers high up in Bulgaria’s Rila Mountains. Shooting commenced in 1999, but troubles plagued the production from the beginning, and footage was lost just as final editing started. Judging from this docu, it’s no great loss to cinema history. Pic apparently played like an amateur theatrical production, complete with vacuous choreography and a cringe-worthy rewriting of Shakespeare. Helmer Roach displays a level of self-importance completely out of proportion to his resume (which includes “The X-Files” videogame), while camerawork seems uncertain where to focus.

The Hamlet Adventure

Bugaria-U.S.

Production

A Bulgarian Cinema Foundation (Bulgaria)/HyperBole Studios (U.S.) production. Produced by Stanislav Semerdjiev. Directed by Ivaylo Dikanski, Greg Roach. Written by Stanislav Semerdjiev.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, DigiBeta, webcam-to-DigiBeta), Emil Trifonov, Krassimir Andonov, Simeon Simov; editors, Rositza Ilieva, Dikanski, Teodor Simeonov; music, Mark Snow, Paul Hiaumet. Reviewed at Sofia Film Festival (competing), March 15, 2008. Original title: Avantyurata Hamlet. English, Bulgarian, Spanish, German dialogue. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Stanislav Semerdjiev, Greg Roach, Alexander Tot, Georgi Todorov-Zhozzi, Assen Pavlov, Diana Toshkova, Denitza Karabourova, Vitaly Milov, Ivaylo Krastev, Vesselin Kalanovsky, Anton Georgiev, Emil Nakov, Martin Videnov, Kiril Boyadzhiev, Halle Eavelyn, Paul Hiaumet, Uli Plank.
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