Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival Palm Springs

The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival

Watching Welles' 1948 film of Macbeth to commemorate the Bard's 450th birthday... it's on YouTube... not the greatest copy, but it is what it is.

It is also not a great film... shot under time and financial constraints for a traditionally low-budget studio, the almost B-movie aspects are obvious.  Hmmmm... sound familiar? Much of that can be said of most of the films we now call classic noir.

After watching this, I may dig out my copy of Polanski's Macbeth as well... 

Macbeth, now that I think about it, is probably the most noir-ish of Shakespeare's plays. At the beginning of the play, the main character has yet to rise to any powerful stature (Lear is King, Hamlet the crown Prince, Othello the most famous general, Andronicus the most famous general and the man to whom Rome want to give the Empire) he's but a valued soldier (paid off with lands and the title of Thane)... it's only after the opening that he attains Cawdor's thane-ship and later the crown... all spurred on by the femmes fatales in his life--the three "weird sisters" and Lady Macbeth...

There might be connective tissue, spanning these directors' versions of the "Scottish Play" and their later noir (or in the case of Polanski, neo-noir) films: for Welles, Touch of Evil would come a decade later, and for Polanski's Chinatown a mere three years. 

(a note for possible consideration: could some of Welles' stylistic flourishes from The Lady from Shanghai have found their way into his very next film, Macbeth?)

Looks like I have some watching to do... and maybe some writing if I discover some connections on the screen (rather than just in my mind).

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