A Performance of Macbeth (1978)
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Macbeth(Ian McKellen) and Banquo(John Woodvine) are on their way back from a victory when they encounter three odd women(Marie Kean, Judith Harte & Susan Dury) in the forest who inform them that even bigger things are in store for them and their offspring, like Macbeth becoming king and the same for Banquo's lineage. They laugh this off until they find out that one of the predictions has come true in their absence. When Macbeth tells his wife(Judi Dench) about this, she responds that there is no time like the present, what with good King Duncan(Griffith Jones) coming to visit. Yes, this is little more than a filmed performance of the Scottish Play, handicapped by the primitive effects of the time. But even then, this staging makes very good work out of its minimalism to give an eerie and expressionistic look to the proceedings that with one exception are decidedly monochromatic. With close-ups endemic to television, this forces the viewer in a position not to be spared from the carnage. And embodying that madness are the great Ian McKellen and Judi Dench at the top of their game.
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