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(Credit: A24)


Joel Coen's 'The Tragedy of Macbeth' to close London Film Festival


Representing one-half of the Coen brothers, Joel Coen’s latest film, The Tragedy of Macbeth is set to close the 65th BFI London Film Festival this October. 

Starring Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand as lord and lady Macbeth, and Brendan Gleeson as King Duncan, the adaptation of Shakespeare’s inspiring original will receive its European premiere on October 17th at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. 

Described as a modern and fierce adaptation of the classic tale of murder, madness and greed, The Tragedy of Macbeth joins Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog alongside Netflix’s Western The Harder They Fall that will open the festival. 

Announced on the Film Festival’s website, Joel Coen stated, “Shakespeare belongs to the world but comes from Britain. 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”.

Festival director Tricia Tuttle added to Joel Coen’s excitement, noting, “We fell in love with Joel Coen’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Scottish play. Poised in a magical space between theatre and cinema, this is a stunning production”. Continuing, she adds, “Bruno Delbonnel’s silvery monochrome photography captures the moody almost expressionist sets from designer Stefan Dechant and Carter Burwell has written a spell-casting score. And while the ensemble cast – including many U.K. talents – is thoroughly excellent, Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington mesmerize as the couple whose political ambition proved their fatal downfall”. 

The solo directorial debut of Joel Coen, despite nearly forty years in filmmaking, it seems as though brother Ethan Coen simply wanted to try a different project. 

As Carter Burwell, the composer who has scored just about every single Coen Brothers movie, told Collider: “Ethan didn’t want to do it. He wants to do other things.” It’s as simple as that. There hasn’t been a grand row or a creative rift, they are, after all, separate guys and creative legends in their own right, and after nearly 40 years they’ve taken a slight detour. 

The 65th BFI London Film Festival runs from 6th-17th October, with the full programme revealed on 7th September.