In the face of the gratifying but also troubling news that he has been made Thane of Cawdor, for Macbeth, ‘nothing is/ But what is not’. In other words, the only things that now seem to have any reality to him are the things of the imagination, the unreal things. Such a world – a world in which the imaginary specifically takes precedence over the actual - proved a particularly inviting one for me as a filmmaker.
Shakespeare's genius encompasses a deft and fluid ability to weave complex poetic threads that bind together the outer material story, and the inner psychological narrative. At one moment the audience understands Macbeth’s words as an expression of material reality, at the next, as an exploration of his inner consciousness.
Cinema makes us into spectators. However much we empathise or engage, we are always watching from the outside. By changing the language and (quite literally) the perspective of cinema our Macbeth uses the screen to explore the internal territory that Shakespearean language renders so powerfully.