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cheryl_shell
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Macbeth Films

Here is a space to recommend and critique film versions (and adaptations) of Macbeth.

The film I like the most is Roman Polanski's version. The cinematography is fabulous and really makes you feel like you are there in Scotland in the middle ages. Also excellent is the choice of actors: the youth of Macbeth and his wife, and the fact that both are so attractive makes the sexual undercurrent that I've always thought was present in this play much more evident. The witches are almost too creepy, but that works too. After all, they're supposed to be scary.
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Choisya
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Re: Macbeth Films

[ Edited ]
Polanski's film was shot in England's most northern county of Northumberland and my friend who owns the bookship in Alnwick was an extra, along with half the population of Alnwick:smileyhappy:. It is very beautiful, wild, county, bordering Scotland so has a suitable Scottish feel to it for Macbeth, heather and all. There are many castles in this area but Polanski used Bamburgh and Lindisfarne. (The other large one is Alnwick Castle, better known now as Hogwart's Academy.:smileyhappy:) The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, of the Lindisfarne Gospels, is off the coast of Northumberland and that castle is sweet and cosy and is the one I would buy if I ever get rich.:smileyhappy:

http://www.northumberland-national-park.org.uk/VisitorGuide/TheNationalPark/default.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/content/articles/2006/04/13/hollywood_on_tyne_macbeth_feature.shtml

http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/themes/euromanuscripts/lindisfarne.html

http://www.lindisfarne.org.uk/general/index.htm

I have a plant in my garden called Anemone japonica 'Honorine Jobert', which was a favourite of Gertrude Jekyll and I begged a root of it from the Lindisfarne Castle garden, which she designed and planted.:smileysurprised:

http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/b/bp/ANHJS.html




cheryl_shell wrote:
Here is a space to recommend and critique film versions (and adaptations) of Macbeth.

The film I like the most is Roman Polanski's version. The cinematography is fabulous and really makes you feel like you are there in Scotland in the middle ages. Also excellent is the choice of actors: the youth of Macbeth and his wife, and the fact that both are so attractive makes the sexual undercurrent that I've always thought was present in this play much more evident. The witches are almost too creepy, but that works too. After all, they're supposed to be scary.

Message Edited by Choisya on 03-09-200711:26 AM

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Nadine
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Re: Macbeth Films



cheryl_shell wrote:
Here is a space to recommend and critique film versions (and adaptations) of Macbeth.

The film I like the most is Roman Polanski's version. The cinematography is fabulous and really makes you feel like you are there in Scotland in the middle ages. Also excellent is the choice of actors: the youth of Macbeth and his wife, and the fact that both are so attractive makes the sexual undercurrent that I've always thought was present in this play much more evident. The witches are almost too creepy, but that works too. After all, they're supposed to be scary.




I got the BBC five-pack Tragedies and I'm watching the Macbeth right now. This is a good starter since it is very traditional. I also like the idea that you have the option of subtitles, which I find helpful for the first time through Macbeth. I'll write a review when I have finished it. I only have time for an act a night.

Nadine
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Carmenere_lady
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Re: Macbeth Films



Nadine wrote:


I got the BBC five-pack Tragedies and I'm watching the Macbeth right now. This is a good starter since it is very traditional. I also like the idea that you have the option of subtitles, which I find helpful for the first time through Macbeth. I'll write a review when I have finished it. I only have time for an act a night.

Nadine





I also am watching the BBC version of Macbeth. Yes, indeed it is very traditional, and, for me, that is a good thing because by staying true to the text it helps me understand the written play so much more clearly. There is an extraordinary part in the BBC version, Act 3 scene 2 I believe, where MacBeth puts his hands around LM's neck as if he could kill her in his madness as well. The actor, Nichol Williamson, also does a great bit of acting when he sees Banquo's ghost. All in all a fine production.

Carmen
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
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"Um, maybe."
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Carmenere_lady
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Re: Macbeth Films - One is Two and Two is One

I thought this incident was quite appropos and tickled my funny bone so I wanted to share this.

Just as fair is foul.....One is Two..... As I mentioned before I have the BBC Version of Macbeth, borrowed it from the library. There are two cassettes one cassette marked with a magic marker 1 the other 2. Naturally, I insert cassette marked 1 into vcr, what comes on the screen? LM and M are presiding over their subjects. Being a fairly fast learner I decide to switch cassettes and insert #2 - Well lo and behold it is the beginning of Act 1 scene 1. (Is that the theme to the Twilight Zone I hear?)
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
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Laurel
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Re: Macbeth Films

I'll mention here the two Macbeth films that I have enjoyed most recently, even though they are not the best Macbeth films.

First, the 1948 Orson Welles/Roddy McDowall movie. (No, Roddy is not Lady Macbeth.) This film is truncated, of course, and it mysteriously add a religious service out of the blue. The thing that amazed me about it was the expression on Welles's face as he listened to the witches and thought about what they said. I could almost hear Macbeth's thoughts running through his mind as he took in the predictions and thought over what they could mean to him and what could be done to make them come true. The other memorable thing in this film is the "castle," which seemed to be an indoor/outdoor enclosure cut into the rocks or making use of natural formations--not at all a comfortable dwelling.

Second, the Zurich Opera production of Verdi's Macbeth, starring Thomas Hampson. This is about the sixth time I've seen this weird production, and it finally made perfect sense to me last night, thanks to our readings here. It starts out with the weird sisters, of course, and they are truly weird--they are obviously residents of an insane asylum, or should be. As they give Macbeth their prophecies you can hear madness coming on in his voice and see it in his face. From here on, the madness only deepens for Macbeth and his wife, and there's no language but Italian for madness. There's more--the music is glorious, the singers are perfect, the use of children is heartbreaking, the imagery of written words is thought-provaking--but that's all the opera I will bore you with today.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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cheryl_shell
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Orson does well


Laurel wrote:
I'll mention here the two Macbeth films that I have enjoyed most recently, even though they are not the best Macbeth films.

First, the 1948 Orson Welles/Roddy McDowall movie. (No, Roddy is not Lady Macbeth.) This film is truncated, of course, and it mysteriously add a religious service out of the blue. The thing that amazed me about it was the expression on Welles's face as he listened to the witches and thought about what they said. I could almost hear Macbeth's thoughts running through his mind as he took in the predictions and thought over what they could mean to him and what could be done to make them come true. The other memorable thing in this film is the "castle," which seemed to be an indoor/outdoor enclosure cut into the rocks or making use of natural formations--not at all a comfortable dwelling.

Second, the Zurich Opera production of Verdi's Macbeth, starring Thomas Hampson. This is about the sixth time I've seen this weird production, and it finally made perfect sense to me last night, thanks to our readings here. It starts out with the weird sisters, of course, and they are truly weird--they are obviously residents of an insane asylum, or should be. As they give Macbeth their prophecies you can hear madness coming on in his voice and see it in his face. From here on, the madness only deepens for Macbeth and his wife, and there's no language but Italian for madness. There's more--the music is glorious, the singers are perfect, the use of children is heartbreaking, the imagery of written words is thought-provaking--but that's all the opera I will bore you with today.




I agree, Laurel. Welles does a fine job in this movie. He really is a superb actor, although I must say the film is a little melodramatic for my taste. As for the Verdi, I'm intrigued. Italian for madness? Hmmmm . . .
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Laurel
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Re: Orson does well



cheryl_shell wrote:

I agree, Laurel. Welles does a fine job in this movie. He really is a superb actor, although I must say the film is a little melodramatic for my taste. As for the Verdi, I'm intrigued. Italian for madness? Hmmmm . . .




Very passionate. You knowa what I mean?
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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bdnmgrey
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Re: Macbeth Films

There is a version that I think was done for British-TV a few years ago. It featured Sean Pertwee in the title role, and Greta Scacchi (sp?) as Lady Macbeth. The film was shot in what looked like a quarry, and the costuming looked like something post-apocalyptic (rather like Road Warrior or Mad Max). It's such a dark story that this sort of look seemed to fit pretty well.
"Dignity, always dignity."
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bdnmgrey
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Re: Macbeth Films

This may not be the appropriate spot for this post, but here goes. There is also an interesting operatic treatment of the theme, though not close to the Shakespeare text. It is the opera by Dmitri Shostakovich, the great Soviet composer. The opera is called "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," and is one of the great operas of the 20th c. Shostakovich was originally lauded for the work, but then Stalin saw a production, hated it, wrote a negative review in "Pravda" where he attacked Shostakovich's formalism, and Shostakovich had to apologize for the work.
One further note -- there is a Japanese film treatment of the story called "Throne of Blood" -- great film.
"Dignity, always dignity."
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Laurel
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Re: Macbeth Films

I've been avoiding Shostakovich's opera, but I'm sure I'll get to it eventually. Do you recommend the Japanese film?



bdnmgrey wrote:
This may not be the appropriate spot for this post, but here goes. There is also an interesting operatic treatment of the theme, though not close to the Shakespeare text. It is the opera by Dmitri Shostakovich, the great Soviet composer. The opera is called "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," and is one of the great operas of the 20th c. Shostakovich was originally lauded for the work, but then Stalin saw a production, hated it, wrote a negative review in "Pravda" where he attacked Shostakovich's formalism, and Shostakovich had to apologize for the work.
One further note -- there is a Japanese film treatment of the story called "Throne of Blood" -- great film.


"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: Macbeth Films

[ Edited ]

bdnmgrey wrote:
There is a version that I think was done for British-TV a few years ago. It featured Sean Pertwee in the title role, and Greta Scacchi (sp?) as Lady Macbeth. The film was shot in what looked like a quarry, and the costuming looked like something post-apocalyptic (rather like Road Warrior or Mad Max). It's such a dark story that this sort of look seemed to fit pretty well.

Message Edited by Choisya on 03-16-200708:40 AM

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Choisya
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Re: Macbeth Films

Thanks a lot for this insight into what can be done with Shakespeare's plays worldwide Bdnmgrey. It just shows what great literature can do to inspire people through the ages. Do you suppose that Stalin hated the production because it dealt with the killing of a ruler??



bdnmgrey wrote:
This may not be the appropriate spot for this post, but here goes. There is also an interesting operatic treatment of the theme, though not close to the Shakespeare text. It is the opera by Dmitri Shostakovich, the great Soviet composer. The opera is called "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," and is one of the great operas of the 20th c. Shostakovich was originally lauded for the work, but then Stalin saw a production, hated it, wrote a negative review in "Pravda" where he attacked Shostakovich's formalism, and Shostakovich had to apologize for the work.
One further note -- there is a Japanese film treatment of the story called "Throne of Blood" -- great film.


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Choisya
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Re: Macbeth Films

You avoiding an opera Laurel?:smileysurprised: Has Everyman been getting to you? :smileyhappy:




Laurel wrote:
I've been avoiding Shostakovich's opera, but I'm sure I'll get to it eventually. Do you recommend the Japanese film?



bdnmgrey wrote:
This may not be the appropriate spot for this post, but here goes. There is also an interesting operatic treatment of the theme, though not close to the Shakespeare text. It is the opera by Dmitri Shostakovich, the great Soviet composer. The opera is called "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," and is one of the great operas of the 20th c. Shostakovich was originally lauded for the work, but then Stalin saw a production, hated it, wrote a negative review in "Pravda" where he attacked Shostakovich's formalism, and Shostakovich had to apologize for the work.
One further note -- there is a Japanese film treatment of the story called "Throne of Blood" -- great film.





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Everyman
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Re: Macbeth Films

Even with the smiley, that was gratitous and unnecessary.


Choisya wrote:
Oh my yet another production to upset Everyman:smileysurprised: Sit down and have a drink of Earl Grey Everyman.:smileyhappy:




bdnmgrey wrote:
There is a version that I think was done for British-TV a few years ago. It featured Sean Pertwee in the title role, and Greta Scacchi (sp?) as Lady Macbeth. The film was shot in what looked like a quarry, and the costuming looked like something post-apocalyptic (rather like Road Warrior or Mad Max). It's such a dark story that this sort of look seemed to fit pretty well.





_______________
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Choisya
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Re: Macbeth Films

Sorry Everyman - I was only joking:smileysad:. I know how you dislike these sort of productions.



Everyman wrote:
Even with the smiley, that was gratitous and unnecessary.


Choisya wrote:
Oh my yet another production to upset Everyman:smileysurprised: Sit down and have a drink of Earl Grey Everyman.:smileyhappy:




bdnmgrey wrote:
There is a version that I think was done for British-TV a few years ago. It featured Sean Pertwee in the title role, and Greta Scacchi (sp?) as Lady Macbeth. The film was shot in what looked like a quarry, and the costuming looked like something post-apocalyptic (rather like Road Warrior or Mad Max). It's such a dark story that this sort of look seemed to fit pretty well.








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Laurel
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Re: Macbeth Films

An opera, not opera. I watched the Glyndebourne Macbeth with a young James Morris as Banquo last night. Too bad he got killed so early!



Choisya wrote:
You avoiding an opera Laurel?:smileysurprised: Has Everyman been getting to you? :smileyhappy:




Laurel wrote:
I've been avoiding Shostakovich's opera, but I'm sure I'll get to it eventually. Do you recommend the Japanese film?



bdnmgrey wrote:
This may not be the appropriate spot for this post, but here goes. There is also an interesting operatic treatment of the theme, though not close to the Shakespeare text. It is the opera by Dmitri Shostakovich, the great Soviet composer. The opera is called "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk," and is one of the great operas of the 20th c. Shostakovich was originally lauded for the work, but then Stalin saw a production, hated it, wrote a negative review in "Pravda" where he attacked Shostakovich's formalism, and Shostakovich had to apologize for the work.
One further note -- there is a Japanese film treatment of the story called "Throne of Blood" -- great film.








"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Laurel
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Re: Macbeth Films

I think it would be a good rule for the two of you not to say anything about each other. Ever.



Choisya wrote:
Sorry Everyman - I was only joking:smileysad:. I know how you dislike these sort of productions.



Everyman wrote:
Even with the smiley, that was gratitous and unnecessary.


Choisya wrote:
Oh my yet another production to upset Everyman:smileysurprised: Sit down and have a drink of Earl Grey Everyman.:smileyhappy:




bdnmgrey wrote:
There is a version that I think was done for British-TV a few years ago. It featured Sean Pertwee in the title role, and Greta Scacchi (sp?) as Lady Macbeth. The film was shot in what looked like a quarry, and the costuming looked like something post-apocalyptic (rather like Road Warrior or Mad Max). It's such a dark story that this sort of look seemed to fit pretty well.











"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Everyman
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Re: Macbeth Films

Probably the best thing would be for us not to discuss the same books, but to agree to alternate participation. She has said she doesn't want to do paradise Lost, so I'll do that and leave Utopia and Mansfield Park to her. In Shakespeare, we can alternate; I'll let her have the choice whether she wants to take the next play after Macbeth or leave that to me, and then we can alternate, a month on and a month off for each.

That's probably the only way to assure peaceful coexistence.

Laurel wrote:
I think it would be a good rule for the two of you not to say anything about each other. Ever.



Choisya wrote:
Sorry Everyman - I was only joking:smileysad:. I know how you dislike these sort of productions.



Everyman wrote:
Even with the smiley, that was gratitous and unnecessary.


Choisya wrote:
Oh my yet another production to upset Everyman:smileysurprised: Sit down and have a drink of Earl Grey Everyman.:smileyhappy:




bdnmgrey wrote:
There is a version that I think was done for British-TV a few years ago. It featured Sean Pertwee in the title role, and Greta Scacchi (sp?) as Lady Macbeth. The film was shot in what looked like a quarry, and the costuming looked like something post-apocalyptic (rather like Road Warrior or Mad Max). It's such a dark story that this sort of look seemed to fit pretty well.














_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Laurel
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Re: Macbeth Films

No. I think you can discipline yourselves better than that without being sent to separate rooms. Don't make me come out there and knock your heads together, though! :smileysad: :smileysad:

Everyman wrote:
Probably the best thing would be for us not to discuss the same books, but to agree to alternate participation. She has said she doesn't want to do paradise Lost, so I'll do that and leave Utopia and Mansfield Park to her. In Shakespeare, we can alternate; I'll let her have the choice whether she wants to take the next play after Macbeth or leave that to me, and then we can alternate, a month on and a month off for each.

That's probably the only way to assure peaceful coexistence.

Laurel wrote:
I think it would be a good rule for the two of you not to say anything about each other. Ever.



Choisya wrote:
Sorry Everyman - I was only joking:smileysad:. I know how you dislike these sort of productions.



Everyman wrote:
Even with the smiley, that was gratitous and unnecessary.


Choisya wrote:
Oh my yet another production to upset Everyman:smileysurprised: Sit down and have a drink of Earl Grey Everyman.:smileyhappy:




bdnmgrey wrote:
There is a version that I think was done for British-TV a few years ago. It featured Sean Pertwee in the title role, and Greta Scacchi (sp?) as Lady Macbeth. The film was shot in what looked like a quarry, and the costuming looked like something post-apocalyptic (rather like Road Warrior or Mad Max). It's such a dark story that this sort of look seemed to fit pretty well.

















"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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