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Macbeth - Movie Review - Common Sense Media
Polanski's description of the witches differs from the Jacobean time
beliefs, he suggest that they are able to change Macbeths personality
and that it is him who changes the occurrence of the play.
With Jon Finch, Francesca Annis, Martin Shaw, Terence Bayler
Macbeth (Jon Finch)
Portrayed as a power hungry but ultimatley weak figurehead compared to the women in the film
In this film, it is clear that Polanksi believes that Lady Macbeth and the witches were responsible for the tradgey
The witches deprive Macbeth of sleep, causing him to become irrational very quickly
Similarily, Macbeth only kills Duncan because Lady Macbeth manipulates him into it by questioning his manhood
Macduff is the only character in the play/movie with the ability to take the crown away from Macbeth
In the movie he is portrayed as a strong man with a desire for righteousness and a search for the truth
Macbeth was warned by the witches to "beware Macduff" but was also told he could not be harmed by a man born of women
Macbeth does not fear Macduff but sends men to kill him anyway to secure his place as king
Macduff has fled at this time not because he is cowardly, but because he wants to help Malcom take his rightful place as king instead of Macbeth
Death of Macduff's Family
Macduff's wife and children where at the house when the men arrived with orders to kill Macduff
There was a scream heard like in the play but instead of it being unknown we find out it is a women being held down by three men
Macduff's son tries to be brave and stand up to the men to defend his fathers honor but he ends up being killed
Lady Macduff flees the scene and runs into another room to find a massacre
This scene is supposed to be bloody and violent to show how far Macbeth will go to keep the crown
Shows how much he has changed
Ties back to the death of the director's wife and child and continues to portray the violence and death he aims for in the film
Looking into the Scene
Polanski's Personal Touch
In the summer of 1969, one year before filming began, his wife was murdered by the Charles Manson cult
She was eight and a half months pregnant with his child
Polanski claims this had no affect on how he made the movie
When asked if he thought he was using too much blood in his movie he responded with, "You didn't see my house last summer.
Macbeth review: 'Fassbender was born for this' - The Telegraph
I know about bleeding."
Macbeth and Macduff's Fight
Later in the play as Macduff comes back into scene, Macbeth is still in denial the he will be beaten
Macbeth sees Birnam Wood come toward Dunsinane as the witches predicted, but he is still confident he will win this fight
He attempts to try and defend his crown even though everyone has left him and he is all alone
He beats and kills several men before encountering Macduff
Death of Macbeth
The fight between the two starts off almost comical as the two men stumble and fall all over each other
They both continue to slip and fall on the stone floor and smack each other with their swords
Then it becomes serious as Macbeth learns of Macduff's birth and it turns violent
Macduff takes his sword and stabs Macbeth though the rib and up his shoulder
Roman Polanski's version of Macbeth was especially gruesome, perhaps because it was filmed right after the Manson family murdered his pregnant wife and other friends.
Enjoying "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare
The murder of Lady Macduff in Polanski's flim is especially gruesome.
Large amount of dialogue and most soliloquies are shown as voiceovers inside character’s heads in Polanski's version
Throughout the movie many different dreams and hallucinations come into play, most resulting from guilt or fear
Macbeth sees a dagger pointing him toward Duncan's room
Macbeth is haunted with nightmares after Duncan's death keeping him from sleep
In the movie Lady Macbeth is also haunted with nightmares because at one point she says to Macbeth, "These nightmares that haunt us" implying they both cannot sleep
The guilt from killing results in both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth havng vivid hallucinations
Lady Macbeth continually sees Duncan's blood on her hands and tries to wash it off in her sleep, resulting in proving her involvement in Duncan's death
Macbeth sees Banquo's "ghost" at the banquet and acts like a mad man talking and yelling at the dead man's "ghost"
The "ghost" of Banquo is different in the movie, he much more gruesome
The "ghost" is covered from head to toe with blood and has an axe in his back
In the scene with the witches Macbeth drinks a potion and then sees many confusing things
He speaks to a reflection of himself telling him to beware Macduff and then shows Macbeth's severed head falling and a baby being cut out of its mothers womb
He then sees Macduff's children speaking about being king and sees himself "kill" a knight who is supposed to be Macduff
He sees Duncan's sons almost praising him in a comical way saying that he will never be defeated until the wood of Birnam comes to Dunsinane
Macbeth takes delight in this saying that would never happen because no one would up root the trees
After seeing that Macbeth demands to know if the sons of Banquo will be kings after him
He is then shown a series of kings sitting on thrones all holding mirrors which lead from on king to the next and to the next, which signify the line of kings the will be after him, all descendants of Banquo
He sees a bloody Banquo with an axe in his back laughing and smiling meaning even though Macbeth killed him he still won
The play of Macbeth was the most ironic movie for Polanski to direct right after his wife's death, it gave him so many opportunities to put his personal life into the movie
Starting off with the death of Macduff's family, he was able to work his own personal touch into that scene and make it much more horrific then it needed to be
The washing of blood off of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's hand can relate back to the murders who killed his wife and washed the blood off their hands with Polanski's garden hose
The fact the Macduff was removed from his mother's womb early can relate back to his wife who was pregnant and her child who was killed
Warning: Macbeth is supposed to upset people
WARSAW Roman Polanski's life has been shaped by the maxim that art often has its roots in great suffering. After fleeing the oppressive rule of Communism in his native Poland in 1961, Mr. Polanski made two of his most powerful films, "Repulsion" and "Cul-de-Sac." Later, after Charles Manson killed Mr. Polanski's wife, the actress Sharon Tate, and their unborn child in 1969, he went on to make his bloody adaptation of "Macbeth."
But it has taken him almost six decades to come to terms with another period of suffering: the time he spent in the Jewish ghetto in Krakow, which he escaped at age 6. He is now almost finished with a project that has led him to return to that era: an adaptation of "The Pianist," Wladyslaw Szpilman's dispassionate autobiographical account of surviving the Warsaw ghetto.
Throughout the filming here, Mr. Polanski, 68, kept a low profile, shunning most publicity for the movie, which is being made in English and has been largely financed by France's Canal Plus cable television channel. It is produced by Gene Gutowski, an old friend, who produced Mr. Polanski's earliest films and is himself a survivor of German-occupied Warsaw.
Friends and observers say "The Pianist" is a crucial film for Mr. Polanski. His recent work, including "The Ninth Gate," starring Johnny Depp, has failed critically and commercially.
"For Polanski it is a question of his career," said Andrzej Kolodynski, the co-editor of Kino, a Polish film magazine. "If this is a flop, his career is finished. Poor Polanski."
That may or not be true, but Mr. Polanski himself recognizes that the stakes are high. "It is the most important film in my career," he told Kino. "Obviously, emotionally it is a work which cannot be compared with anything I have done so far, because it takes me back to the times which I still remember."
In "The Pianist" Mr. Polanski is dealing with a book that is stunning in its brutal simplicity. From Poland's defeat by Hitler's army in September 1939 to the gradual imprisonment of all of Warsaw's Jews in a starving, fetid ghetto, Szpilman describes not only the cruelty and degradation inflicted by the Nazis but also the horrific inequities among the Jews themselves.
As shells fell on Warsaw, Szpilman, then a young Jewish pianist and composer, played the last live music Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp heard on free Polish radio before the German artillery destroyed the transmitter. Later, he tells how he survived, playing piano for scraps of food in a ghetto cafe where rich Jews passed their final hours. He escaped while on a work detail and hid in occupied Warsaw.
At the war's end, Szpilman, who died last year at 89, returned to Polish radio and immediately wrote his memoirs. They were soon turned into a film, shot among the real ruins of Warsaw. Originally called "Robinson Warszawski" (Warsaw Robinson) it was retitled "Unvanquished City" by Communist censors who, among other changes, inserted shots of residents welcoming the Red Army. No original cut is known to exist.
Mr. Polanski first learned of "The Pianist" when it was recently republished in Polish. (It was published in the United States by Picador USA in 1999.) "I wanted to make a film about the Holocaust for a long time," Mr. Polanski said at a news conference. "Szpilman's book is the text that I have been waiting for, because `The Pianist' is a testimony of human endurance in the face of death and a tribute to the power of music and the will to live. It breaks lots of stereotypes and is a story told without the desire for revenge. Immediately after reading several of the first chapters, I knew it was the subject of my next film."
Steven Spielberg offered Mr. Polanski the opportunity to direct "Schindler's List," but Mr. Polanski turned it down, Mr. Gutowski said, because he felt that filming in the remains of the Krakow ghetto would be too painful.
"The Pianist" is filled with scenes familiar to Mr. Polanski, who escaped the Krakow ghetto through a hole cut in the barbed wire. The book opens with Szpilman's account of trying to rescue a child who was smuggling goods into the ghetto. Pursued by a German policeman as he was trying to slip back into the ghetto through a hole in a wall, the child became stuck. "When I finally managed to pull the child through, he died," Szpilman writes."His spine had been shattered."
Preserving the grittiness of this memoir's reality has been his greatest task during the filming, Mr. Polanski said. "I think the biggest challenge is the visual side of the movie," Mr. Polanski explained in a Polish magazine. "I want to avoid the shine that every film has, but on the other hand, I do not want to pretend to be making a documentary of that period."
In the center of Warsaw today, only a half-dozen buildings remain from the wartime ghetto, so "The Pianist" was shot partly in the city's outlying Praga district and partly in the Babelsberg film studios in Germany, where large portions of the ghetto were recreated. The ruins of the ghetto, which was bombed by the Germans after the Jewish uprising, were filmed at a former Soviet Army base in eastern Germany, which Mr. Polanski had dynamited to create sufficient rubble.
The film's cast is made up largely of Germans and Poles and a handful of other European actors. Adrien Brody, a young Englishman who starred in Ken Loach's "Bread and Roses," was chosen to play Szpilman. Mr. Polanski and Ronald Harwood, who wrote the script, put together a documentary from Nazi films of the ghetto and screened it for the extras and bit players to prepare them for their roles, Mr. Gutowski said. Some scenes in the filming of "The Pianist," like the Warsaw ghetto uprising, were so brutal that "there were many moments where Roman was visibly upset," he added.
Mr. Polanski's return to his native country to film a Polish tale after nearly 40 years' absence is seen by many as a vindication of Poland's place in the world, and has been the talk of film circles and the subject of features in Polish magazines. At the Lodz Film School, where Mr. Polanski studied, he is regarded as an icon, and the places where he shot his school films are considered landmarks.
It seems that the timing of "The Pianist" could not be better. In July, Poland's president, Aleksander Kwasniewski, apologized on behalf of his fellow Poles at Jedwabne, a village in northeast Poland where hundreds of Jewish residents were murdered by Polish townspeople in 1941.
"I don't want to be cynical," Mr. Kolodynski, the film journalist, said, "but it's a good moment for a film about the Holocaust, because Jedwabne has started an enormous discussion in Poland of accounting with your conscience."