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The Tragedy of Macbeth
Photograph: Courtesy of Apple TV+

The BFI London Film Festival will close with ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’

Joel Coen’s tragedy stars Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

Something wicked this way comes: This year’s BFI London Film Festival is closing with Joel Coen’s black-and-white adaptation of Shakespeare, ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’

Fires will be burning and cauldrons bubbling at the Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall on Sunday October 17, with Coen – going solo and Ethan-less on a movie he wrote and directs – expected to be there to present his new take on the Bard’s great Scottish tragedy.

Shot in moody black-and-white by ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ stars Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand as the ill-starred Scottish general and his wife. Bertie Carvel, Alex Hassell, Corey Hawkins, Harry Melling, Brendan Gleeson and Kathryn Hunter co-star.

‘Shakespeare belongs to the world but comes from Britain,’ says Coen. ‘Having borrowed your cultural patrimony, and having had the great good luck to work with a few of your most brilliant actors, I’m honoured to bring this movie to the London Film Festival for its European premiere.’

‘We fell in love with Joel Coen’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Scottish Play,’ says festival director Tricia Tuttle. ‘Poised in a magical space between theatre and cinema, this is a stunning production. Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington mesmerise as the couple whose political ambition proved their fatal downfall.’

The festival opens on with Londoner Jeymes Samuel’s western ‘The Harder They Fall, starring Idris Elba, Jonathan Majors and Zazie Beetz. The American Express gala is Jane Campion’s ‘The Power of the Dog’

The BFI London Film Festival 2021 will take place Oct 6-17. Tickets go on sale from Sep 15. Head to the website for more details.

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