Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth” held its world premiere at the New York Film Festival last week and to say the film will be a potential awards contender for A24 & Apple would be an understatement. With over three dozen reviews counted, the film has scored a perfect 100% so far on Rotten Tomatoes with a very strong 8.5/10 average rating.
Boasting both an older version of the Macbeths at its center, and German expressionist style visuals of black-and-white photography and in Academy ratio. Minimalist sets, shrouded in mist, and with the actors often in silhouette – the film is scoring raves for its performances, pace and production values.
It’s highly cinematic, but the film is also going likely be mostly seen on streaming platforms and is headed to one just three weeks after opening in limited theatrical release. The topic of streaming has been a hot bed one in recent years with comments from filmmakers ranging from Martin Scorsese to James Gunn generating all sorts of responses.
The Coens have always been theatrical filmmakers, but first with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” for Netflix and now with Joel going solo here there does seem to be adjusting to the inevitable paradigm shift. Speaking with Indiewire, Coen had a thoughtful response on that and how it was the home market that was responsible for their careers:
“When I first got into the movie business, it’s been almost forty years ago. The reason I was able to make movies with Ethan, the reason we were able to have a career, is because the studios at that point had an ancillary market that was a backstop for more risky films, which were VHS cassettes and all of these home video markets, which is essentially television.
So the fact that those markets are sort of responsible for my career… I’m not gonna bust on them now because they’ve become very successful, you know, and they’re sort of overtaking the market. I mean, it’s the reason I’m here, and able to do this.
So, I have mixed feelings about it, obviously, which is, the first thing, you want people to see it on a big screen. But the other part of it is, that’s been part of the history of our movies since the very beginning.”
“The Tragedy of Macbeth” will get a U.S. theatrical run from Christmas Day ahead of a quick jump to Apple TV+ on January 14th.
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