Friday, April 27, 2012


Orson Welles,1948, 103m 

This compressed and ethereal Macbeth serves well as a revision exercise which preserves the soul of the text without much directorial intervention. The magnificence of the drama lies in humanizing Macbeth, which may seem impossible for many contemporary tyrants. The complexity of characterization is missing and we do not participate in the thought processes of the couple before or after their project. The role is one after Orson Welles' own heart, since one can't imagine him stooping to enact a plain nice guy.The sets are minimal and seem to be sculpted from contorted masses of tar. It is a dark, steamy, rank underworld where light scarcely penetrates. He does a slick job of a forest on the move. Quite short of Welles' visually crystalline Othello. The film has a juvenile element, like a myth, missing the gravity and contemporaneous of the theme. But certainly not time wasted.

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