Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Challenges of Filming in 'Unforgiving' North

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Challenges of Filming in 'Unforgiving' North

Article excerpt

Byline: Hugh MacKnight Reporter jnl.newsdesk@ncjmedia.co.uk

AUSTRALIAN director Justin Kurzel said shooting Macbeth in Northumberland and the Scottish Highlands in winter was both "horrendous" and inspiring.

Kurzel's adaptation of one of Shakespeare's best-known plays, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, was shot over 36 days in some of the country's most remote and exposed locations, and included a fortnight-long shoot at Bamburgh Castle and on Bamburgh beach in February last year.

The castle provided the backdrop to scenes as Macbeth's home.

Kurzel, who previously directed the Adelaide-set Snowtown (2011), told a preview audience in Edinburgh that shooting Macbeth on location was at times "unbelievably horrendous".

He told an audience at the Cameo cinema: "It's unforgiving, that land, in the winter.

"I did the location scouts in the summer and it seemed so charming, so aweinspiring, but do-able.

"Then we arrived and you are watching your production designer fly across the camera, picked up by the wind, and Marion Cotillard kind of disappearing into a bog.

"It's really formidable, but it was also what we were getting most inspired by, this kind of unforgivable land that we were trespassers on, in a way. I wanted the film to look 'hard'.

"I wouldn't have done the film if I couldn't shoot here."

He added: "I started seeing it as a Western - there was something interesting about these characters being isolated and brutalised by their environment." During the shoot in Bamburgh, the castle and coastline were turned into a shanty town of trailers to welcome the superstars, including Fassbender, cast and crew of almost 200.

The grounds of the historic venue also feature in the film adaptation, which also stars Paddy Considine and David Thewlis. …

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