Film and Macbeth

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STORY-TELLING THROUGH FILM: Comparing Interpretations of a Scene from Macbeth

Film, like novels and plays, is a form of narrative or storytelling. However, image (and, to a lesser extent, sound) is the main ‘language’ film uses to tell the story. Some of the elements of this language include:

∙ ‘shots’ (where the camera points, how it moves, focuses etc.) ∙ editing (how shots are put together to tell the story) ∙ sound design and editing
∙ artistic design (including lighting, costumes, set, make-up etc.) ∙ acting/performance (acting style, character interpretation, space/movement)

The director manipulates all of these elements - and more - to create his or her ‘concept’ or artistic interpretation of a story. Often a director’s concept is intended to interest or ‘target’ a particular audience. (Example: you may remember two film versions of Romeo and Juliet, each with a very different concept and intended to capture the interest of different audiences.)

NAME: ____________________________________________________________


VERSION OF MACBETH (DIRECTOR): ________________________________________________

1. How have the actor and director interpreted the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?

2. How has the director used the language of film to illuminate the ‘I see a dagger before me’ soliloquy? Why might he have approached it in this way?

3. How does this scene create suspense using the ‘language’ of film? If not suspense, what is the intended atmosphere? How is it achieved? (Continue your work on the back.)

4. What clues do you have about the director’s concept? What might it be?

5. Who do you think the target audience is? How would you persuade them to come and see this movie?

Notes/Observations on Polanski’s Macbeth:Notes/Observations on Casson’s Macbeth:
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