Usually working in tandem, The Coen Brothers are separating for Joel Coen’s solo project The Tragedy of Macbeth, a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play due to premiere at the 59th New York Film Festival.
Speaking in a public statement, Joel Coen announced, “The New York Film Festival is a place where I’ve been watching movies as an audience member and showing them as a filmmaker for almost 50 years”. Continuing, the influential filmmaker stated: “It’s a real privilege and a thrill to be opening the Festival this year with The Tragedy of Macbeth.”
Starring Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand as lord and lady Macbeth, and Brendan Gleeson as King Duncan, the adaptation of Shakespeare’s inspiring original is described by NYFF as, “A work of stark chiaroscuro and incantatory rage, Joel Coen’s boldly inventive visualisation of The Scottish Play is an anguished film that stares, mouth agape, at a sorrowful world undone by blind greed and thoughtless ambition”.
Elaborating on the plot, the official statement from NYFF reveals, “In meticulously world-weary performances, a strikingly inward Denzel Washington is the man who would be king, and an effortlessly Machiavellian Frances McDormand is his Lady, a couple driven to political assassination—and deranged by guilt—after the cunning prognostications of a trio of “weird sisters”.
Eugene Hernandez, director of the New York Film Festival commented, “We can’t wait to welcome New York Film Festival audiences back to Lincoln Center this fall, and what a way to do that!”. “With Joel Coen, Frances McDormand, Denzel Washington, and our friends at Apple and A24 on Opening Night at Alice Tully Hall, we’re setting the stage for a momentous return to our roots. Last year was a deeply meaningful edition of NYFF; our Festival travelled to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and around the country via our Virtual Cinema,” her statement continued.
The Tragedy of Macbeth will premiere at Alice Tully Hall on September 24, 2021, with an official worldwide release date yet to be announced.