3 items from 2017
The Russian author Nikolai Leskov’s lurid Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District was first published in Dostoevsky’s Epoch magazine in 1865, and has inspired varied adaptations ranging from a 1934 Russian opera by Shostakovich to Polish director Andrzej Wajda’s 1962 film Siberian Lady Macbeth. This latest incarnation transfers the twisted passions of the source material to the rugged landscapes of Victorian-era north-east England, where repression and rebellion conjoin in a heady cocktail of lust, intrigue and murder. In the process, Lady Macbeth both cements rising star Florence Pugh’s deserved reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting screen talents and announces theatre graduate William Oldroyd as a film director of immense promise.
Written with razor-sharp wit by playwright Alice Birch (also making her feature debut), the »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
By strange and fortuitous coincidence, my meeting with Jack Garfein fell upon the nexus of several intersecting moments in history. It was Friday, January 27th — International Holocaust Remembrance Day. One week earlier, Donald J. Trump was sworn to office as forty-fifth President of the United States; and in the ensuing weekend, allegations of Trump’s unpunished sexual misconduct, callous attitudes toward women and courting of radical right-wing supporters helped bring about the Women’s March on Washington, one of the largest mass protests in the nation’s history. All around, people are anxiously reading the past with tenuous hopes and fears for the future. History, so often a thing defined after the fact, is currently in violent and furious motion.
Jack Garfein is living history, and he’s not shy about telling it. Born to Ukrainian Jews in 1930, Mr. Garfein personally witnessed as a child the rise of Nazi Germany »
- The Film Stage
Already established as a theatre director, the former theology student now makes his feature film debut with a Lady Macbeth that has nothing to do with the Bard
• Click here to see the Observer’s rising stars of 2017 in full
As a theatre director, William Oldroyd has done his share of Shakespeare. But his film-making debut, Lady Macbeth, out this spring, has nothing to do with the Bard. Featuring a mesmeric lead performance by Florence Pugh – the discovery of Carol Morley’s film The Falling – it’s the 19th-century story of Katherine, a young married woman in the north of England who frees herself from the shackles of patriarchy in the most drastic way. Written by playwright Alice Birch, it’s adapted from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, an 1860s Russian novel by Nikolai Leskov, which also inspired an opera by Shostakovich.
The book is almost forgotten today but Oldroyd says: “It’s a cracking read. »
- Jonathan Romney
3 items from 2017
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