The Italian visionary Domiziano Delvaux Cristopharo is back to deliver yet another film drenched in equal parts Shakespeare and Mad Max post-apocalypse film. The appropriately titled Mad Macbeth is the latest project from Cristopharo which he has filmed in Kosovo, similar to some of his previous work. The movie has obviously been filmed in desolate or dilapidated locations such as refuse dumps, outskirts and abandoned areas to give the film an arid, post-apocalyptic feel.
I haven’t read Macbeth since high school, but I can remember the gist of it. Macbeth is a general who has visions of becoming king, brought on by the premonitions from a group of witches. Soon, the king is visiting Macbeth and the general is coaxed into killing the king by his wife, Lady Macbeth, or in this case, Lady Manhore. Mad Macbeth still manages to follow this premise, but fortunately gives its own spin on the subject matter by lending a futuristic, wasteland angle.
Cristopharo uses the talents of Halil Budakova and Merita Budakova, who were also in his 2016 Lovecraftian picture Virus: Extreme Contamination, also filmed in Kosovo. Halil Bukakova carries his role dominantly while Merita Bukakova is the soul force behind the mischievous struggle to obtain power. She displays this conviction with absolute precision. Even though the film is inspired by Shakespeare, Mad Macbeth still has a Lovecraftian air, heavy on dark and mystical symbolism. The violence is there but is not overly graphic. There is even a bit of an action aesthetic in Mad Macbeth with battle scenarios between the different sects or tribes who exist in the wasteland. The costumes and make up are done very well and are highly polished in delivery.
Always much respect to Cristopharo for delivering the best pictures he can on his budgets and overcoming the diversity of independent filmmaking. Mad Macbeth looks wonderful. The cinematography and soundtrack shine and the filmmakers decide to take a rather tasteful route in its execution. The movie had its premiere recently in Kosovo and Cristopharo and Halil Budakova did some promotion on local TV there.
One thing I admire about foreign cinema is the recognition which is brought to the forefront, even in the media in other countries. Think of the many indie productions that were made in North America and how they practically get no air time on TV or mainstream media. Fortunately, the internet manages to fill this void in Canada and the U.S. with podcasts, blogs and various websites. In other countries, however, indie films get noticed.
Mad Macbeth is an interesting and innovative take on the Shakespearean tragedy which was have said to first surface sometime in the 1600s. Hats off to Cristopharo for keeping such rich history in the arts alive and well in 2017. Quite the busy man, you will find the never resting Cristopharo thriving in the independent scene. Not only is he producing the upcoming films Sacrifice and Torment, Cristopharo has also created other films such as Red Krokodil, Doll Syndrome and the P.O.E. Anthology, an upcoming segment for the anthologies Deep Web and Xpiation, and House Of Flesh Mannequins back in 2008. I always look forward to and respect his classy approach to genre cinema. Be sure to check out Mad Macbeth and let us know what you thought of the film in the comments below.