I think almost everyone has seen Roman Polanski's version of Macbeth (good but bloody) but I'm interested if anyone has seen any other adaptation of the play and how they liked it (or not).
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There is apparently a 2006 version that has Macbeth as a gangster. I've not seen it, by the NY Times gave it good reviews. I've been looking for but can't find a 1980's version of the play that has it set in a post-nuclear war society, where the characters are all living in bombed out buildings and are grouped together in gang style communities. Its an effective version. I don't like to show the whole thing to the class, but I pick specific scenes to highlight in order to demonstrate a new approach.
I've seen the 2006 film (apparently it was a choice selection for the Toronto Film Fest that same year). It moves Macbeth from the Scottish Highlands into Melbourne Underworld. It's an okay version of the play (had to get over the fact that the witches were private school teens and Duncan as a middle aged mob boss so I could stop snarking about it aloud.) The only problem I had with it was the portrayal of Lady Macbeth. The director gave the character a back-story that did not enhance the character at all.
I've seen the famous one with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench as the Macbeths, as well as the BBC/Royal Shakespeare version with Nicol Williamson (Merlin in Excalibur) as Macbeth. The McKellen/Dench one was filmed exactly as it was acted on the stage and is very intense, very well done by all of the actors, particularly those two leads. The witches in that one, though, were just too weird - Yes, I know they're the "weird sisters," but I just didn't care for their portrayal very much. The BBC version is excellent - Williamson did an amazing job as Macbeth! I just love his voice!
This is not a movie, as far as I know, but my favorite adaptation is Macbeth/Medea/Cinderella. It's an experimental play that simultaneously uses characters from all three plays at once, with all three plots. As an example, when Macbeth sees the dagger floating, it's actually in Medea's hand! Sometimes they see each other, sometimes they don't. The prince and Medea's chorus attend Macbeth's banquet. The play is absolutely brilliant! Someone should try to film it.
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