Directed by Bela Tarr and released on television in its home country of Hungary in 1982.
An early effort from Bela Tarr in which he gives us his rendition of one of William Shakespeare’s most well known pieces, Macbeth. As to be expected from the genius that is Bela Tarr, we are given two shots. That’s it. For the entire film. The first of which lasts around five minutes, and the second wobs, weaves and lingers for an incredible sixty or so minutes. Of course this technical aspect was to become a staple of Tarr’s work to come (for an example see… well, any of his films post-Damnation).
Beyond the sheer brilliance of the technical side of this piece, we have an absolutely fantastic performance from György Cserhalmi as the titular Macbeth. I might usually complain about the theatricalness of a film like this, but considering the fact that the way in which it is presented is more akin to the stage play where the source material for this was designed for and perfected to, I can do nothing more than marvel at it.
All in all, beyond the technical aspects which Tarr has since come to be known for, we have a master class in how to adapt a play for a film. Another beautiful aspect of most of Tarr’s work is that it feels like it could well have been filmed in the seventeenth century and the fact that this is one of his few pieces which isn’t in black and white gives Tarr fans all the more reason to seek it out.