Thursday, May 23, 2024

“The Tragedy Of Macbeth” Set To Open NYFF59

By Matt Neglia 

In a statement released by the Film at Lincoln Center, it’s been announced that Joel Coen’s black and white “The Tragedy Of Macbeth” will have its world premiere as the Opening Night film at this year’s New York Film Festival.

Click below for more information.

Official plot synopsis in the press release reads:

A work of stark chiaroscuro and incantatory rage, Joel Coen’s boldly inventive visualization of The Scottish Play is an anguished film that stares, mouth agape, at a sorrowful world undone by blind greed and thoughtless ambition. 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” (a virtuoso physical inhabitation by Kathryn Hunter). Though it echoes the forbidding visual designs—and aspect ratios—of Laurence Olivier’s classic 1940s Shakespeare adaptations, as well as the bloody medieval madness of Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, Coen’s tale of sound and fury is entirely his own—and undoubtedly one for our moment, a frightening depiction of amoral political power-grabbing that, like its hero, ruthlessly barrels ahead into the inferno. An Apple/A24 release.

“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,” said director Joel Coen. “It’s a real privilege and a thrill to be opening the Festival this year with The Tragedy of. . .”

“We can’t wait to welcome New York Film Festival audiences back to Lincoln Center this fall, and what a way to do that!” said Eugene Hernandez, Director of the New York Film Festival. “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 traveled to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and around the country via our Virtual Cinema. This year we’re back in our Upper West Side home, but you’ll also find us exploring new venues and ways to connect with moviegoers in person, outdoors, and online—stay tuned!”

“We’re proud to open the festival with a film that immediately joins the ranks of the great screen Shakespeares,” said Dennis Lim, Director of Programming for the New York Film Festival. “Working with brilliant collaborators, including Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand in stunning form, Joel Coen has made an inspired and urgent interpretation of an eternally relevant classic, a moral thriller that speaks directly to our time.”

The 59th edition of the New York Film Festival (NYFF) will take place September 24 – October 10, 2021. NYFF59 will feature a combination of in-person, outdoor, and virtual screenings, with a comprehensive series of health and safety policies in coordination with state and city medical experts.

Visit for more information. 

Festival Passes are now on sale, with Early Bird pricing through Friday, July 30 only. NYFF59 tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, September 7 at noon ET, with early-access opportunities for FLC members and pass holders prior to this date.

List Of Previous New York Film Festival Opening Night Films
2020: Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen, UK)
2019: The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, US)
2018: The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, Ireland/UK/US)
2017: Last Flag Flying (Richard Linklater, US)
2016: 13th (Ava DuVernay, US)
2015: The Walk (Robert Zemeckis, US)
2014: Gone Girl (David Fincher, US)
2013: Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass, US)
2012: Life of Pi (Ang Lee, US)
2011: Carnage (Roman Polanski, France/Poland)
2010: The Social Network (David Fincher, US)
2009: Wild Grass (Alain Resnais, France)
2008: The Class (Laurent Cantet, France)
2007: The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, US)
2006: The Queen (Stephen Frears, UK)
2005: Good Night, And Good Luck (George Clooney, US)
2004: Look at Me (Agnès Jaoui, France)
2003: Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, US)
2002: About Schmidt (Alexander Payne, US)
2001: Va savoir (Jacques Rivette, France)
2000: Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, Denmark)
1999: All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1998: Celebrity (Woody Allen, US)
1997: The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, US)
1996: Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, UK)
1995: Shanghai Triad (Zhang Yimou, China)
1994: Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, US)
1993: Short Cuts (Robert Altman, US)
1992: Olivier Olivier (Agnieszka Holland, France)
1991: The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, Poland/France)
1990: Miller’s Crossing (Joel Coen, US)
1989: Too Beautiful for You (Bertrand Blier, France)
1988: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1987: Dark Eyes (Nikita Mikhalkov, Soviet Union)
1986: Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, US)
1985: Ran (Akira Kurosawa, Japan)
1984: Country (Richard Pearce, US)
1983: The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, US)
1982: Veronika Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)
1981: Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, UK)
1980: Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, US)
1979: Luna (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/US)
1978: A Wedding (Robert Altman, US)
1977: One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Agnès Varda, France)
1976: Small Change (François Truffaut, France)
1975: Conversation Piece (Luchino Visconti, Italy)
1974: Don’t Cry with Your Mouth Full (Pascal Thomas, France)
1973: Day for Night (François Truffaut, France)
1972: Chloe in the Afternoon (Eric Rohmer, France)
1971: The Debut (Gleb Panfilov, Soviet Union)
1970: The Wild Child (François Truffaut, France)
1969: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Paul Mazursky, US)
1968: Capricious Summer (Jiri Menzel, Czechoslovakia)
1967: The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy/Algeria)
1966: Loves of a Blonde (Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia)
1965: Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, France)
1964: Hamlet (Grigori Kozintsev, USSR)
1963: The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, Mexico)
What do you think of this news? This being a World Premiere rules out the possibility of a Venice, TIFF or Telluride play. Are you excited to see “The Tragedy Of Macbeth?” Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Twitter account.

You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture

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Matt Neglia
Matt Neglia
Obsessed about the Oscars, Criterion Collection and all things film 24/7. Critics Choice Member.

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