MACBETH: What's done is done

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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:23 pm

Colonel Kurz wrote:I love how Lady Macbeth also starts out as the older king's lover and seduces him into the murder, that he commits out of love, not out of lust for power.
Yeah, it's very clever (and makes him way more sympathetic than in the play), but his vaulting ambition is still in there, too. And, yeah, loved the sea prophecy. Especially since it involved the inspector the former boss had had transferred. Great writing!
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Saved this exact shot but mine is much more blue. Huh.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:26 pm

Philosophe rouge wrote:The only one I've actually watched is the Polanski, which we watched in high school. I'd like to see it again
It really is a perfect version for the purpose. So faithful and engaging, with some great discussion potential around the violence.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Beau » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:28 pm

Man, I need to watch these. They look amazing.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by JediMoonShyne » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:00 am

Currently grabbing Wajda's Siberian Lady Macbeth. Who's seen it?

Also, some choice shots from the Welles:

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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:43 pm

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Cut to the bone and limited by the long take, Tarr's TV play is more stunt than serious adaptation. So many words crammed into an hour, so many faces jostling to get into the frame! It was obviously a lot of work in tough conditions (note the steam coming out of their mouths when they talk), but the odds are stacked against them. The subtitles, direct from Shakespeare, create a weird disconnect when they refer to things cut for time or logistics. It's jarring, for example, to hear Macbeth talk about "proof" of the prophecy when no one's given him the news, but, the actual screenplay may have smoothed over such discrepancies. I did like the intimate, unsettling effect when everyone's hands are all over whoever they're talking to, but it works better in some places than others. (Macbeth's hugging his hired killer as he calls him barely human, haha.) And the use of colored lights and fog to evoke atmosphere and delineate scenes is really neat. He could have used a few more colors, though, since most of the action ends up being shot against the same gray bit of wall.

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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:55 pm

Did anyone else watch this one?
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:53 pm

JediMoonShyne wrote:Currently grabbing Wajda's Siberian Lady Macbeth. Who's seen it?
Aw, missed this the first time. I was blinded by the Welles screencaps, haha. I haven't seen the Wajda. It sounds good, but I don't think it has much to do with Shakespeare. I could be wrong. :P


By the way, I plan to watch the Verdi/Argento next, but I'll switch up if anyone wants to talk about another one.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:07 pm

Also, any of you able to see the Kurzel Macbeth, let me know what you think of it? It won't be here till December 4th (I'm hoping that's a wide release) and I'm not worried about spoilers, haha.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by JediMoonShyne » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:05 am

Shieldmaiden wrote:Aw, missed this the first time. I was blinded by the Welles screencaps, haha. I haven't seen the Wajda. It sounds good, but I don't think it has much to do with Shakespeare. I could be wrong. :P
Oh, it doesn't?

Damn, thought I was onto something...
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:16 pm

I just noticed that IMDb gives a writer's credit to Shakespeare, so I must be wrong. (It happens!) I was going by the Wikipedia entry on the novella its based on, which sounded like the only link was the title.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by wigwam » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:37 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:Did anyone else watch this one?
a long time ago and i loved it, i didnt think i remembered much abt it until you mentioned the hands and then i remembered that i really loved the intensity of their performances which added with the single take and atmosphere made it really engrossing and immediate which was fun for me - unlike your project tho I was least interested in its Macbethness, I think I was watching it along with all his other early stuff so all its stylization and conceits really stood out (until Almanac!)
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:28 pm

wigwam wrote:a long time ago and i loved it, i didnt think i remembered much abt it until you mentioned the hands and then i remembered that i really loved the intensity of their performances which added with the single take and atmosphere made it really engrossing and immediate which was fun for me - unlike your project tho I was least interested in its Macbethness, I think I was watching it along with all his other early stuff so all its stylization and conceits really stood out (until Almanac!)
Yeah, so intense! Macbeth and Lady Macbeth really sold their passion in this one, which I liked. I've read that this was where his style really started to develop!

A couple things I didn't mention above:

They used the heck out of a very cool set, moving constantly during big speeches, utilizing spaces in varying ways, that cool overhead shot of Duncan's bed, etc. I think Tarr was playing up the humorous aspects, with the witches played by men and the drunken door man, but everything's so deadpan it's hard to judge. Was it humor that M. and Lady M. looked so similar (clothing and hairstyle especially, but facially, too)? If he hadn't had a beard, I might have mixed them up, haha.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:24 am

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Well, the best-laid plans... I streamed the Argento production of Verdi's opera on Amazon and quite enjoyed it, but I didn't see any particular signs of Argento-ness. Then I got to the final credits and found out I'd received the wrong movie, haha. Turns out Argento's isn't available anywhere yet. Caveat emptor!

I doubt if I'll convince anyone here to watch this one, but I loved the music, especially the Macbeth duets and the rousing choruses near the end. I don't have much opera knowledge on which to base comparisons, but it's entertaining and brisk and quite faithful to the plot, if not the poetry. The witch chorus/ballet is lovely and occasionally intense, but not at all spooky. Macbeth is extremely weak willed here (accentuated by an older actor in the role), and Lady M. pure evil. Apparently that was Verdi's intent. He wrote, "I would like in a Lady a harsh, suffocated, veiled voice... I would like Lady’s voice to seem diabolical." You can see in the third picture below, she looks like she might eat him! Anyway, you can count me as a fan of the opera, for sure.

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Edited to add: I later had a chance to see this opera performed locally. They made excellent creepy use of the witches, who rose from under the floor and took part in other scenes (as serving girls at the feast where Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost, for example). And the choruses were thrilling. Loved it!
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:59 am

wigwam wrote:always meant to see Scotland PA
I'm watching this one next. Are you with me?
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:32 am

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Solving the problems of translation by eliminating the famous words, Kurosawa is equally bold in his other changes, stripping Shakespeare down to atmosphere and primal emotions, and adding elements of Japanese history and Noh theater. From those bleak opening lines of failure and ruin, the film is recognizably Macbeth, but also something more. The way he uses sound (and lack of sound), rain and wind, the terrifying face of Lady Macbeth, the best Birnam Forest scene by far, the overwhelming finale – all make this such a visceral, unsettling experience. Love this one!

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For better words, see Stephen Prince's essay linked here:

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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Gort » Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:36 am

I've seen Throne of Blood, and I think I also saw the Verdi Macbeth production by Bevilacqua (both from the local library's collection). Maybe not the latter. But is there another Macbeth opera besides Verdi's? I did some sampling of films supposedly based on Macbeth when I was thinking about doing a comparison in that thread, you know the one. And one of them was the Kurosawa, one was a straight-up BBC production (or maybe Channel 4) of the Scottish play, while the third was an opera. It was cool, too.

I hope it was the Verdi, and it might have been this 2006 production, but it might have been another. Anyway, I just want to say that the play transforms into an opera quite successfully, I think. Which made me think of something that I was going to write if I did (but I didn't) do the Macbeth Rematch: "The play itself is almost like an opera without the music."

Maiden is doing a better job than I would have done with this marvelous thread. Probably fewer words, too. ;)
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:35 am

Gort wrote:Anyway, I just want to say that the play transforms into an opera quite successfully, I think. Which made me think of something that I was going to write if I did (but I didn't) do the Macbeth Rematch: "The play itself is almost like an opera without the music."
Good point! I remember thinking during those lively Macbeth duets, this is the perfect way to present that hectoring dialogue.

There's some interesting stuff about the opera here. Which reminds me of something I forgot to mention above: Verdi adds a chorus of refugees to show the effects of Macbeth's instability beyond the castle. I think it's an inspired choice – poignant, thought-provoking, and so much better than a soldier's chorus would have been.

And, thanks for the kind words!
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by JediMoonShyne » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:04 am

Must revisit Throne of Blood. Did watch this one last night, however...

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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Ace » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:25 am

I remember watching a version of Macbeth set in current times. They used guns and it current wardrobes. It was weird since they kept all the Shakespearean dialog intact.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:15 pm

Ace wrote:I remember watching a version of Macbeth set in current times. They used guns and it current wardrobes. It was weird since they kept all the Shakespearean dialog intact.
Was it Australian, by any chance? I think Trip really likes that one. :P
JediMoonShyne wrote:Did watch this one last night, however...
Ooh, is she sleepwalking!? How much Shakespeare is in it? Should I watch it for this thread?

ETA: I've got it. Will watch.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Beau » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:26 pm

Throne of Blood is one of my favourite movies. I think I wrote an essay on it for college talking about it in light of the play. Obviously lost forever to the Internet. Sorry, thread.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Ace » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:14 pm

I don't remember if it was Australian. My teacher put it on for us because he said it was the most faithful adaptation barring the setting.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:40 am

Shieldmaiden wrote:ETA: I've got it. Will watch.
Oh, those last 20 minutes! Such laughable melodrama. You should have warned me, Jedi!
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:26 am

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Ah, OK, I was wrong. This is clearly an attempt to recast (to Slavicize, if that's a word) Shakespeare. They can't all be at Throne of Blood-levels of genius. But, as it happens, this is mostly successful. The story's been shrunk down to a household, the motives changed to passion (in much the same way as in Maqbool, actually), and the class issues are an interesting addition. I appreciate the famous lines it manages to get in. (The amen stuck in my throat!) It consistently looks great, the thick atmosphere of boredom and sensuality at the start is like something out of Faulkner, and I love the pig's head/apparition scene. The problem is really only at the end, when it veers sharply away from the play and becomes a moralistic, soap-opera farce. At least it's still pretty!

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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:31 pm

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One thing I've noticed as I worked my way through these: I haven't tired of the play. In fact, the story's gotten better and better though the many different lenses. Still, this one was a little disappointing. I expected it to be a careful, minimalist production that showcases performances, and it is. The actors are working hard – there's a lot of sweat and saliva here, and oddly belligerent line readings. And that's the key, I think; everything's so unpleasant! The ill-fitting organ music in the background, the pale light that makes them look as if they're dying. Illness is a deliberate visual theme. Duncan's so old and frail his courtiers have to carry him around. McKellen does Welles' drunk Macbeth one better, and plays him as almost epileptic, thrashing around and foaming at the mouth. The symbolism gets rather overwrought at the end, but I liked it anyway. Finally, the camera takes an active role, and uses forced perspective to show us madness from Macbeth's point of view.

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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:58 pm

Wigwam and I are watching Scotland, Pa. tonight, 10pm CDT, if anyone wants to join us.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by wigwam » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:22 am

Shieldmaiden wrote:Wigwam and I are watching Scotland, Pa. tonight, 10pm CDT, if anyone wants to join us.
phew! my video store had it, couldn't find it online at all, can't wait to finally see this

do we live post w/ each other during a sync watch? I've only ever done the field trip group viewings I think. I thibk I'm bad at internetting during movies, I need deep focus! But I can try if that's the fun of it, otherwise I'll post all my brilliant thoughts here right afterward!
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:37 am

I'm better at deep focus & brilliant thoughts afterward. (More like adequate thoughts, but still.)
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by wigwam » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:38 am

ok great!!! talk to you (and whoever else?) then!
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:42 am

Just finished, and what a great way to end my Macbeth marathon! Thought the parallels were clever: the carnival fortune tellers, Macduff as a police detective nemesis, the imaginary grease burn, the alliance of Macduff and Malcolm.

And, haha, I just have to point out that they turned this
  • Be innocent of the knowledge…till thou applaud the deed.
    Thou marvell’st at my words: but hold thee still.
into
  • It’s a surprise. I’ll take care of it.
    Get off my fucking back.
Genius! What did you think of it?
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by wigwam » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:55 am

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Scotland, Pa. | Billy Morrissette | 2001 | USA | 104 min | 2015-10-25 | DVD | Home, Junius Heights | LOVED

I think I had the experience with this that you did with Throne of Blood, all of its non-Shakespeare concerns made it that much more magical for me. There's a 90s holdover slacker feel to the form of it (which is kinda just LeGros's cinematic aura really) but all the cleverness in the 70s-ness was so well-done and Maura Tierney is especially great with the best character/updating in the thing. Also Banquo at the press event was great, as was the way they worked in the witches. It's definitely stronger in the first half than the second (I guess I was sorta underwhelmed by Walken although the vegetarian/meditation stuff was funny) but I was laughing right up until the final frame. Thanks so much for reminding me to see this one and congratulations on such a great project!
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:07 am

Yeah, I loved the 70s atmosphere. Rock block! And Banquo was very good. (But I always love Kevin Corrigan.) It lost its way a bit around the hunting trip, but had a strong finish. Thank you for watching with me!! :heart:
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:14 am

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Shrink a king down to the owner of a burger joint and the comedy just writes itself! Of course, that's not really true. Clever parallels must be found for all the important things, and they have been. I thought the weird fortune tellers and the grease burn worked especially well. And something they couldn't fit in (Macduff's family) got multiple teasing references at least. The results are silly (no duh!) and could easily have been witless, but the cast is great and pulls it off. And, in its own way, it's surprisingly faithful to the play. I love the way Banquo, even drunk, is Macbeth's moral compass, and how that becomes the threat, not his blood line. And this might be the best Malcolm of the bunch (sorry Roger Rees)! I'm glad I ended on such a strong note.

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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Gort » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:53 am

Shieldmaiden wrote:
  • Image Macbeth (Orson Welles, 1948)
    ___Classic version starring the great man himself. Conversation starts here

    Image Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)
    ___Reimagined as a samurai epic, with the amazing Toshirô Mifune. Conversation starts here

    Image Siberian Lady Macbeth (Andrzej Wajda, 1962)
    ___Based on the novel Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, this one adds Russian melodrama to the pot. Conversation starts here

    Image Macbeth (Roman Polanski, 1971)
    ___Jon Finch, of Frenzy, is the title figure in this grim and bloody version. Conversation starts here

    Image A Performance of Macbeth (Philip Casson, 1979)
    ___Impeccable credentials: a Trevor Nunn production starring Ian McKellen and Judy Dench. Conversation starts here

    Image Macbeth (Béla Tarr, 1982)
    ___A lean and intense staging consisting of two long shots. Conversation starts here

    Image Scotland, Pa. (Billy Morrissette, 2001)
    ___Turning tragedy into dark comedy, with Christopher Walken as Lieutenant McDuff. Conversation starts here

    Image Maqbool (Vishal Bhardwaj, 2003)
    ___A modernization set in the Mumbai underworld. Conversation starts here

    Image Macbeth (Andrea Bevilacqua, 2006)
    ___The Teatro Regio in Parma stages the famous opera by Verdi. Conversation starts here
I just got finished watching Birdman (2014). In the discussion at IMDb, in the trivia section, someone asserts that the movie is based on Macbeth. :) Does that mean you left one out of your list?

I'd hate to analyze Birdman and try to show how it's a parody or retelling of the Macbeth story!
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:09 am

Haha. I just spent several minutes trying to figure out a way that Birdman is a version of Macbeth. The lines recited by the crazy guy on the street are from the play:
  • Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.
I see thematic resonance there, but that's a far cry from being based on the play.

You know, I left so many out! There are at least 56 feature-length "Macbeths" listed on IMDb, and that's not counting films based on the play with some other title. I think I lost the board's attention a while ago with 9 films. Imagine if I'd started with 50 or so!
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by MrCarmady » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:02 pm

I like the idea of the thread, Maiden, it's just that I've never even read Macbeth, having a relative aversion to Shakespeare in general, so I haven't seen any of the films and have even less to contribute than usual. I don't have this excuse for the female filmmakers thread, need to dig into that.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:26 pm

MrCarmady wrote:a relative aversion to Shakespeare in general
:(

I'd bet that most people haven't read the play, but have still absorbed a lot of its language and story elements through the culture. Also, you should see Ran and Throne of Blood no matter what you know/think of Shakespeare. As I said upthread, they're unique and wholly Japanese despite their origins.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by MrCarmady » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:29 pm

I love Ran, I thought it was inspired by King Lear though?
Well, I say I love it, I just remember seeing it about five years ago and thinking it was just about the most visually sumptuous thing ever.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:33 pm

MrCarmady wrote:I love Ran, I thought it was inspired by King Lear though?
Well, I say I love it, I just remember seeing it about five years ago and thinking it was just about the most visually sumptuous thing ever.
Yes, it's Lear, and sumptuous is a good description. I just didn't want you to avoid it because of Shakespeare. :)
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:52 pm

I don't know whether your aversion reflects attitudes in Germany (??), but I like how the films in this thread point to Shakespeare's influence around the world. Sure, four are US/UK productions, as you might expect. But the others are reasonably diverse, hailing from Japan, Yugoslavia, Hungary, India and Italy. I didn't pick them with that in mind particularly (and Jedi's the one who found the Yugoslav one), so obviously I could have done better in that regard.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by MrCarmady » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:04 pm

I think it's quite a weird case for me, actually - I've not read Bill's work in German as far as I can remember, I read and enjoyed him in Russian before I was in my teens, but it was the sonnets and the comedies basically, and the translations were never as archaic as the original language. Then I moved to England a few years later, read and disliked Romeo & Juliet, and had to read Othello in school, finding it flat and racist. Dipped into Merchant of Venice, finding it antisemitic, and The Taming of the Shrew, finding it sexist. Since then the only thing I've seen of his performed was a terrible student production of Antony and Cleopatra and a good professional one of Measure for Measure. So it's a case of being put off by the hype, the archaic language, and just kinda not caring enough. I should definitely give some of his less controversial stuff another go, I just don't buy the revisionist readings of his work that I've read at all. Maybe I'll give Tempest a try.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:33 pm

The Tempest is really good, but Lear and Hamlet are my favorites. And Macbeth moved up several notches during this project!
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Ace » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:11 pm

Found what Gort was referring to.
There are many parallels to William Shakespeare's "Macbeth." Michael Keaton is similar to Macbeth and Birdman functions as Lady Macbeth, pushing him to do as he pleases (to be king, or in this case, to be popular and trending). Also, Macbeth famously pursues a course of action aimed at blocking a prophecy proclaimed by witches, while here Keaton uses all his money and time to stop his show from failing as predicted by a female critic. There is also a scene when Keaton's character leaves a bar, and lines from "Macbeth" are being spoken by an actor on the street. Finally, at one point in the play within the movie, dancing trees are seen on stage, just as in Macbeth.
I can see it. But Birdman is too different to be "loosely" similar to it.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by traz » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:54 pm

man, I got tired of Macbeth just reading this thread. I don't know how you are watching these
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:28 am

Ace wrote:But Birdman is too different to be "loosely" similar to it.
Ah, thanks. But, yeah, that's a pretty twisted reading of both play and film.
traz wrote:man, I got tired of Macbeth just reading this thread. I don't know how you are watching these
Haha. They're all quite different from each other, though. Besides, as Jedi says, I'm an obsessive cinephile recluse. :P
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Gort » Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:45 am

Ace wrote:Found what Gort was referring to.

I can see it. But Birdman is too different to be "loosely" similar to it.
I probably shouldn't have said "based on" although that quoted trivia bit sort of gave me the opinion that the writer thought that, more or less. I'd never ever have seen any of that as remotely similar to Macbeth if I hadn't read that comment, though.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:20 pm

I'm still hoping for more comments/feedback from posters here if you get around to watching these, or any of the other versions that are out there. I'll even watch them with you! Plus, I'll be back here for sure when I finally see the Kurzel film.

But, now, it's Halloween, and time to have a little fun with all these Macbeths.

There will be winners and losers in

Image The Ultimate Macbeth Awards Image
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by traz » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:22 pm

no polanski?
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:23 pm

Category: Mise-en-scène

The crown

Best crown: Polanski
Image

Everything a crown should be: solid, old, and very, very heavy.

Worst crown: Welles
Image

Trying to make the square hat happen.


The castle

Best castle: Polanski
Image

Breathtaking, isn't it? This is actually Lindisfarne Castle in Northumberland. Also, the interiors are historically accurate with a busy, lived-in feel. Wonderful!

Worst castle: Welles
Image

I know this is a controversial choice because it's deliberately fantastical and picturesque. I do get it! But you have to admit dripping black rocks would make an uncomfortable living space, and I found it absurd enough to be distracting.
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Re: MACBETH: What's done is done

Post by traz » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:24 pm

oh nvm I'm dumb

Orson's crown looks like they give it away at burger king
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