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‘Macbeth’ Cinematographer on Shooting Digitally for a Contemporary Take on Shakespeare

To film Justin Kurzel’s new retelling of Macbeth, shot entirely on location in Scotland, cinematographer Adam Arkapaw decided to shoot digitally on the ARRI Alexa XT Plus and with anamorphic Panavision lenses.

“The obvious choice would have been to use film because it’s a period piece, but we wanted the movie to look more contemporary. We didn’t want it to feel nostalgic,” Arkapaw tells American Cinematographer. “The aberrations of anamorphic help create an expressionistic and painterly effect. And they also play against the sharpness of [digital capture]. Anamorphic seats the aesthetic somewhere in between a softer film look and a harder digital look.”

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