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A future foretold in stark black and white

Kathryn Hunter in "The Tragedy of Macbeth"
Kathryn Hunter twists and bends in a strange dance of movement to foretell Macbeth’s future.
(Apple TV+)

Director Joel Coen’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” was a visual challenge in minimalism, with cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel painting the screen with contrasting grays, abstract lighting and stark locations to bring the rich dialogue center stage. When Lord Macbeth (Denzel Washington) steps through a shadowy fog to stumble upon an eerie Witch played by Kathryn Hunter, she’s hypnotically circling in the sand, contorting her body in a devilish way. “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” “For this scene, Kathryn showed us this special dance and Joel was fascinated with it,” says Delbonnel. “There was this kind of bird-like quality to how she was able to move her body. It was really all her and we designed the shot around the dance using the landscape while supporting the line and character’s mood.”


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