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Branagh: Bold Twist on Shakespeare

February 15, 2000

BERLIN (AP) _ Kenneth Branagh says his latest twist on Shakespeare was a bold step, especially for his backers.

``It was very courageous of them to do an obscure Shakespeare comedy as a film musical,″ he said Tuesday after ``Love’s Labor’s Lost″ was screened at the Berlin Film Festival. Branagh directed and stars in the film.

The original text of the play is interwoven with music from Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Cole Porter. Branagh said the film is a ``fluffy, boy-meets-girl story,″ updated to the 1930s and emulating the screwball Hollywood comedies of the era.

Branagh’s co-stars include Alicia Silverstone and Nathan Lane, the only one with musical theater experience.

``I tried not to let them drag me down,″ Lane joked at a news conference. ``No actually, I thought everyone did a terrific job. I didn’t feel embarrassed at all.″

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