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The black-and-white film is the latest take on the classic Shakespeare play, with Washington as Macbeth and McDormand as Lady Macbeth. Coen directed and penned the screen adaptation.
While Scott Rudin was originally a producer on The Tragedy of Macbeth, the disgraced movie mogul is no longer involved with the film after stepping away from multiple upcoming projects following The Hollywood Reporter‘s April 7 cover story detailing his history of alleged abuse. Coen, McDormand and Washington have yet to publicly comment on the bullying allegations against Rudin.
“The New York Film Festival is a place where I’ve been watching movies as an audience member and showing them as a filmmaker for almost 50 years,” Coen said in a statement. “It’s a real privilege and a thrill to be opening the festival this year with The Tragedy of …“
NYFF programming director Dennis Lim added, “We’re proud to open the festival with a film that immediately joins the ranks of the great screen Shakespeares. Working with brilliant collaborators, including Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand in stunning form, Joel Coen has made an inspired and urgent interpretation of an eternally relevant classic, a moral thriller that speaks directly to our time.”
The annual fall festival, presented by Film at Lincoln Center, will this year feature a combination of in-person, outdoor and virtual screenings, with health and safety policies in coordination with state and city medical experts as New York City emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
It seems as though the opening night event will be similar to the NYFF’s pre-pandemic galas, with the Macbeth screening set to take place at the festival’s longtime home of Alice Tully Hall. Last year’s festival featured a mix of virtual screenings and drive-in events at various locations throughout New York City.
“We can’t wait to welcome New York Film Festival audiences back to Lincoln Center this fall, and what a way to do that!” said NYFF director Eugene Hernandez. “With Joel Coen, Frances McDormand, Denzel Washington and our friends at Apple and A24 on opening night at Alice Tully Hall, we’re setting the stage for a momentous return to our roots. Last year was a deeply meaningful edition of NYFF; our festival traveled to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and around the country via our Virtual Cinema. This year we’re back in our Upper West Side home, but you’ll also find us exploring new venues and ways to connect with moviegoers in person, outdoors and online — stay tuned!”
The 59th annual New York Film Festival is set to run from Sept. 24 to Oct. 10.
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