Tag Archives: politics

Fassbender’s Macbeth: disappointingly static

What can I say? It’s one of Shakespeare’s goriest, most intense, most riveting pieces of work. It’s got everything: action, ambition, weird sisters, murder, more ambition, more murder, politics, more murder, gender-bending, vengeance, imperialism, and even a few twists of the supernatural. It’s got such a reputation that in some theatre circles, its mere name is an omen, prompting people to refer to it obliquely as “the Scottish play.”

And yet, apart from a few scattered action scenes, the bulk of the film doesn’t seem to move much. Almost every scene is shot in gloomy greys and browns, perhaps in a nod to the play’s dark themes. Visually, however, this makes it a little hard to follow at times. Most of the dialog is spoken in whispers of varying intensity; sometimes the emotion is discernible, sometimes not so much. Some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines have been cut in what sometimes seems like a belated recognition that things are draaaaaaagging and need to be moved along.

Really, folks, it’s Shakespeare. You shouldn’t be fighting to stay awake. I watched three or four people stand up and walk out of the theatre.

Early in the play, Macbeth is wrestling with the prophesy from the three witches and the implicit green light for killing the kindly King Duncan; when I studied it in high-school English class, it was about him struggling with his conscience while Lady Macbeth, already in thrall to the Dark Side, urges him to grow a pair. The discussion between Fassbender’s Macbeth and Marion Cotillard’s Lady Macbeth, however, carries about as much emotional weight as a couple arguing over what colour to paint the living room.

The flatness continues through what should be some of the most emotionally loaded scenes in the script, among them the appearance of Banquo’s ghost at the feast and Lady Macbeth’s descent into madness in the “Out, damned spot” sleepwalk. Both scenes provide the stars with a fat juicy opportunity to carry the film, but in both — well, whatever charge they’re supposed to bring, it seems the battery’s drained. Fassbender never jolts us with the horror, guilt, and paranoia Macbeth’s supposed to feel when he sees Banquo’s blood-spattered shade, and for all the pain and OCD Cotillard’s supposed to be portraying during her somnambulistic hand-washing, she might as well be advertising a dishwashing liquid.

True, you don’t have to chew the scenery, but is a little emotional content too much to ask for?

The last ten minutes, in fairness, are a vivid contrast to the muted torpor of the preceding scenes, if not enough to redeem the film. Especially when the filmmakers ditch the dark greys and browns in favour of a visually riveting advance on Dunsinane by the warriors in Birnam Wood. And the final confrontation between Fassbender and Sean Harris’s vengeful Macduff could have been an outtake from Braveheart.

Bottom line: 6/10. If you’ve seen other versions, it might be worth a go, but if not, start with something else.



Why @dreahouston is a goddess and the rest of us mere mortals | #onpoli #CanQueer #PrideTO #homophobia


Populist-homophobe Tim Hudak has shown up to the Pride VIP reception at the 519. @dreahouston goes in for the kill:

via Populist-homophobe Tim Hudak has shown up to the Pride VIP reception at the 519. @dreahouston goes in for the kill:.

H/t @goldsbie.

Related posts:

Robert Reich: The Decline of the Public Good


Meryl Streep’s eery reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” brings to mind Thatcher’s most famous quip, “there is no such thing as ‘society.’” None of the dwindling herd of Republican candidates has quoted her yet but they might as well considering their unremitting bashing of…

Robert Reich: The Decline of the Public Good

Fox …



Same exact AP story, except one of them has a foxified headline.

Actual AP headline:

Fox News headline:

Fucking really?

BBC News – Global war on drugs ‘has failed’ say former leaders


It’s a BBC story, but the dynamics are very much reminiscent of all the “tough on crime” rhetoric we’re hearing in the context of Canadian politics these days.

It’s not as if expensive and ineffective policies are anything new. Other than providing short-term political boosts, one wonders what good they accomplish.

Indeed, the facts seem to indicate that they do more harm than good. This raises the question, of course, of why they’re pursued at all, and why governments continue to embrace them in the face of all the evidence that suggests that they don’t work … 

(h/t Alex Himelfarb)

Screen grab of last night’s #trinityspadina tweets

God love those Chrome extensions.

Although a twitter widget would have been cooler (and take up less screen). Plus the links would be live and clickable. This is just a big JPG.




From the Trinity-Spadina all candidates meeting

Can Posterous handle a Twitter widget? I’m sure it can.

Am I geeky enough to figure out how in the next few minutes? Not so sure …

In the meantime, just search using the #trinityspadina hashtag.