The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

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diamonds
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#51 Post by diamonds » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:27 am

soundchaser wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:19 am
I know it's only a minute-long teaser, but this sure looks ponderous.
Given how McDormand and Coen have discussed it as a propulsive thriller with "a real suspense and a real ticking clock," I'm tempted to chalk that up to A24's typical marketing style more than anything.

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Never Cursed
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#52 Post by Never Cursed » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:41 am

Yeah, they sure did wanna make this look like The Lighthouse

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Mr Sausage
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#53 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:05 pm

Some of the staging reminds me of Lang's Die Nibelungen. And then some of it looks like Fulci's Conquest.

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#54 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:41 pm

diamonds wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:27 am
soundchaser wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:19 am
I know it's only a minute-long teaser, but this sure looks ponderous.
Given how McDormand and Coen have discussed it as a propulsive thriller with "a real suspense and a real ticking clock," I'm tempted to chalk that up to A24's typical marketing style more than anything.
This is a bit off-topic, but a friend once invited me to to this seminar (around the time Room became a hit) that included A24's marketing, and what was kind of hilarious was how they talked about marketing Spring Breakers. Basically they wanted the biggest opening weekend possible and kind of knew what type of marketing would do it, but they also knew it would probably lead to massive backlash by ticket buyers who felt misled. It made sense why they would go ahead with it, even though it meant tanking their audience review scores - big openings mean more markets asking for distribution.

With that in mind, I don't know why you'd want to make a suspenseful film look ponderous!

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#55 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:21 pm

Perhaps the exemplar of that approach is Long Day's Journey Into Night, which opened on New Year's Eve in China and was marketed as a romantic escape to ring in the New Year with your sweetheart. On day one it made $38 million—almost three times the combined grosses of all Jia Zhangke movies, and just a few million short of what The Grandmaster earned over its entire run—then crashed by over 95% on day two. Its user rating on Maoyan (the most mainstream of Chinese movie sites, where Free Guy is currently sitting at a 9 out of 10) is 2.6.

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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#56 Post by bad future » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:00 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:41 pm
This is a bit off-topic, but a friend once invited me to to this seminar (around the time Room became a hit) that included A24's marketing, and what was kind of hilarious was how they talked about marketing Spring Breakers. Basically they wanted the biggest opening weekend possible and kind of knew what type of marketing would do it, but they also knew it would probably lead to massive backlash by ticket buyers who felt misled. It made sense why they would go ahead with it, even though it meant tanking their audience review scores - big openings mean more markets asking for distribution.
I’ve long suspected this is why A24 seems to give all their horror movies wide releases as opposed to the slow platform rollouts the rest of their films seem to get. The type of moviegoer who’d feel burned because they just wanted to see any normal horror movie on opening weekend is probably also a demographic less likely to pay attention to studios or distributors, so it keeps working. Cool to know they’ve actually spelled out that calculus, but I (further) digress…

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yoloswegmaster
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#57 Post by yoloswegmaster » Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:34 pm

Reviews are trickling out and they are very positive, which is surprising to me since it was revealed that it was rejected by the Venice Film Festival.

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#58 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:16 pm

yoloswegmaster wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:34 pm
Reviews are trickling out and they are very positive, which is surprising to me since it was revealed that it was rejected by the Venice Film Festival.
I guess that makes sense - the Coens are very polarizing filmmakers. Think of how many of their celebrated masterpieces have been equally and thoroughly trashed by their detractors (mostly the usual skeptics, but also those on the fence about them).

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Monterey Jack
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#59 Post by Monterey Jack » Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:48 am

The Big Lebowski was treated with general disdain when it came out ("The Coens followed up Fargo with this...?!"), and now it's arguably their most beloved movie. Same thing with No Country For Old Men being followed up by Burn After Reading.

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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#60 Post by Monkey Ballz » Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:49 pm

Has there been any evidence that one brother might be more responsible for one type of film or another?

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Never Cursed
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#61 Post by Never Cursed » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:06 pm

Sadly I thought this was mostly a failure. The reliance on sets and artificial backdrops make for some impressive images (and production stills), but not only are these elements poorly integrated with the needs of the production as a film (the actual editing and blocking of the actors within the sets are pretty bad, particularly in the fight scenes - hope you’re glad you sprung for the cute co-editing credit, Joel!), they’re the most visible element of the film’s exhaustingly distanced approach to the source text - why this director would visually translate one of Shakespeare’s most approachable and straightforward tragedies into cryptic arthouse nonsense is beyond me. Comparisons to The Lighthouse’s serious parts on a tonal level are decently apt, but that film wasn’t afraid to use its artifice and colorful language to accentuate moments of ridiculous comedy and surrealist horror; next to such an expressively earthy movie, the Coen feels pompous in its guardedness. There are a couple standout sequences, especially those taken from the play’s third act, that gel with the film’s malaise, but everything from the play that might provide some levity or tonal respite is neutered - the porter soliloquy, one of my favorite comic passages from Shakespeare, is performed in full, but drowned out entirely by ominous knocking sounds in a misguided attempt to make the scene more “intense.” Why do this? The performances are all over the map, with Washington’s Macbeth being the most impressive (he even occasionally carves out space to make a joke or two) and Kathryn Hunter’s witches being the single worst interpretation I’ve seen of the role, a reduction of everything mysterious and frightening about the characters into generic mental illness and physical grotesquery. “Reductive” is an apt descriptor of the production as a whole - in trying to make the film feel as imposing and distant as the source text is from a modern reader, Coen has sucked out all the play’s living juice.

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knives
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#62 Post by knives » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:09 pm

Everything I’ve heard makes this sound akin to Welles’ rendition. Is that a fair comparison?

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Never Cursed
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#63 Post by Never Cursed » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:35 pm

Haven’t seen the Welles, but based on what I know of it and around 15 minutes of it that I just watched excerpted, it seems like they’re very similar in terms of the physical qualities of the films (with a similar focus on sets and a title/credits font in the Coen that seems to ape the Welles deliberately), but different in terms of what they do with them. Certainly the opening and the Banquo’s ghost sequence in the Welles soar a lot higher than in the Coen (and I like most of the stuff in the Coen that has to do with Banquo!). My amateur opinion is that Welles probably was probably much, much better at finding a philosophy to adapt the text through than Coen is.

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#64 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:36 pm

Monkey Ballz wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:49 pm
Has there been any evidence that one brother might be more responsible for one type of film or another?
Didn't Ethan have a bigger hand with the visual elements like composition and Joel have a bigger hand with the actors? In which case, Never Cursed's comments makes it sound like Ethan's absence may have been a bigger blow than expected, at least in terms of integrating the visuals with the needs of the production.

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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#65 Post by Never Cursed » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:43 pm

The film’s issues don’t principally fall along those lines; the central problem is the smugly distanced approach that Joel took to the adaptation of the play, an attitude which many of the Coens’ detractors have accused both brothers of bringing to many of their films. (For what it’s worth, I’m somewhere in the middle with them).

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Re: Macbeth (Joel Coen, 202?)

#66 Post by Noiretirc » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:15 pm

dda1996a wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:06 pm
Is there really any need for more of the famous Shakespearian Tragedies, not just Macbeth?
Yes.

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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#67 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:30 pm

Noiretirc -- Agreed

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Roger Ryan
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#68 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:33 am

Never Cursed wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:06 pm
...(the actual editing and blocking of the actors within the sets are pretty bad, particularly in the fight scenes - hope you’re glad you sprung for the cute co-editing credit, Joel!)...
Can't comment on the specific editing of this film since I've yet to see it, but Joel and Ethan Coen have primarily been the editors of their own films going back to their debut Blood Simple. Only occasionally have they relied on others in this department. The choice of the "Reginald Jaynes" moniker in place of the usual "Roderick Jaynes" is undoubtedly an acknowledgement that Ethan was not involved.

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Never Cursed
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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#69 Post by Never Cursed » Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:27 am

Yeah, I'm not saying that the Jaynes moniker(s) are new or anything

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Re: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)

#70 Post by beamish14 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:04 am

hearthesilence wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:36 pm
Monkey Ballz wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:49 pm
Has there been any evidence that one brother might be more responsible for one type of film or another?
Didn't Ethan have a bigger hand with the visual elements like composition and Joel have a bigger hand with the actors? In which case, Never Cursed's comments makes it sound like Ethan's absence may have been a bigger blow than expected, at least in terms of integrating the visuals with the needs of the production.

That's interesting. I don't think they operate quite like an Allen/Albert Hughes split where each one has very delineated roles like that, but I'm not sure of how they operate during preproduction. It's pretty miraculous that they're known to never argue on sets or even really have divergent points of view.

Ethan is the one who has dabbled in a lot more outside of films, having had plays, a book of poetry, and an excellent collection of short stories published, so his sabbatical/retirement from films isn't a total shock.

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