Dir: Justin Kurzel

DoP: Adam Arkapaw

Year: 2015

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Things To Consider

  • There’s so much going on in this film visually that its almost difficult to know where to start with any kind of analysis. Lets begin at the beginning, the opening scene, the funeral of a child uses visuals to add some key info to this telling of Macbeth (the child doesn’t appear in Shakespeare’s text) Scotland looks amazing here, depicted with a drab blue tint, we can almost feel the damp, the wet, the misery. 
  • Lady Macbeth’s two soliloquies are stunningly realised. In the first Cotillard has her back to to the light pouring in from outside. She appears in silhouette with only the slightest sense of her expression, we know she is not to be trusted. In her second soliloquy she is posed in a similar manner but now she is fully in the light, she has seen the results of her machinations and their effects can no longer be ignored .
  • The final conflict is one of the boldest stylistic choices in a mainstream movie in quite some time, and it doesn’t look like anything we’ve really ever seen before. Surrounded in flame Macduff & Macbeth face off, red silhouettes set against a yellow backdrop. It looks iconic and so unnatural, it heightens the drama and allows the actors to become symbols not just characters.
  • How do Kurzel and Arkapaw take all these different big choices and make them all work seamlessly together? Does the fact that this text is very familiar to a lot of us give them more wiggle room to play with visuals?

Further Research


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