It’s Halloween. There’s never enough Weird Sisters.
So now, different portrayals of the Weird Sisters in theater and film!
As my Shakespeare professor explained it to me, there’s several things that you need for a good portrayal of the Witches:
- Gender ambiguity
- They appear in wide open, barren places
- There’s a blurring of lines in between which witch is which - they’re almost one person, instead of three.
One of the best examples of kickass witches in an adaptation doesn’t come from a straight-up movie version of the play, but from a modern adaptation called Scotland, PA. In Scotland, PA, Macbeth is a down-and-out slacker living in a small town in Pennsylvania in the seventies, working for a diner run by Duncan. The witches are three hippies. It’s awesome. Here’s a youtube clip, watch it, there is hilarity:
One of the witches is played by Timothy “Speed” Levitch, who is this crazy philosopher guy who’s also a tour bus guy. If you’ve ever seen Waking Life, you’ve seen Timothy Levitch.
Also, Christopher Walken plays McDuff, who’s a police detective investigating Duncan’s murder, so I don’t even know why you haven’t seen this movie yet.
Now, a supremely horrible portrayal - the 2006 Australian film version.
Yes, that totally looks like a good adaptation of Macbeth. Also, the guy from Avatar is in it, which is the only reason anyone’s seen it.
Instead of strange, ambiguous, sort of incomprehensible figures who seem to exist outside of our reality and don’t exactly play by our rules, the Weird Sisters in this Macbeth are a trio of Catholic school girls.
It is way less awesome than it sounds.
In their opening scene, they’re shown in a graveyard, graffiting and carving up gravestones, because they are totally hardcore, okay?? At one point Macbeth is tripping out and they try to sex him up.
It’s actually kind of physically painful.
All right, one more.
In the 2010 BBC adaptation (starring Captain Jean Luc Picard, so you know it’s legit), the witches are three nurses working in a wartime hospital. What they lack in gender ambiguity, they make up for with the striking visuals they provide. Seriously, the cinematography in this movie is unnaturally excellent.
I wish I could find some good screencaps for you, to show off the design, but luckily, you can watch the whole damn thing legally and free on PBS’s website - http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/episodes/macbeth/watch-the-full-program/1030/
So yes, today, if you can’t do anything else for Halloween, check out a film adaptation of Macbeth - any adaptation. It’s the prototypical horror movie, guys, you owe it to the play.
submitted by megaparsecs