We discuss Justin Kurzel’s 2015 film adaptation of The Scottish Play starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. We consider the Christian imagery in the film, the decision to delete all references to witchcraft, the importance of the sound mix, and the problems with how the speech is spoken in the film. We also discuss other adaptations of Macbeth including Sleep No More.
Alex Heeney: Host and Editor-in-Chief of Seventh Row (@bwestcineaste)
Laura Anne Harris: Guest and Contributing Writer for Seventh Row
Connor Joel: Guest and Copy Editor for Seventh Row (@keepthemuse)
This episode was edited and recorded by Cam White. Follow him on Twitter @JediDusk.
About Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth (2015)
This film adaptation of Macbeth had its world premiere in the Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2015. It was the last film to screen at the festival and played to mixed reviews. Set in the Middle Ages, it’s Kurzel’s first foray into Shakespeare. Most of the actors are not trained in the Bard, and it shows. The cast features mostly Irish actors, all of whom are putting on a Scottish accent. Marion Cotillard, from France, is the major exception, and her accent is deliberately foreign. The film is characterized by its striking visuals and rich sound mix.
Director: Justin Kurzel
Cast: Michael Fassbender (Macbeth), Marion Cotillard (Lady Macbeth), David Thewlis (Duncan), Paddy Considine (Banquo), Jack Reynor (Malcolm), Elizabeth Debicki (Lady MacDuff),
David Larsen’s review of Kurzel’s Macbeth (2015): “Exactly Wrong”
Other productions referenced in episode 3
King Lear (Sam Mendes, 2014) at the National Theatre
Sleep No More (a Macbeth adaptation in New York City)
Additional written references from the podcast
The Year of Lear by James Shapiro discusses the social and political context in the year 1606 when Macbeth was written.