Sunday, February 8, 2009

蜘蛛巣城 (Throne of Blood)

Throne of Blood
Directed by Akira Kurosawa

This film is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, and a very successful adaptation at that. I once read an article for one of my film classes (forgive me, I don't remember who wrote it) that had to do with the problems of filming Shakespeare. One of the big problems is that his works were written for the stage. One of the main arguments of the article is that for a Shakespearean play to be successful on screen, it must be adapted to fit the language of cinema. Kurosawa indeed achieves this with his version of Macbeth

The narrative translates very well to feudal Japan and follows the story of a samurai who hears a prophecy that he will be the ruler of Cobweb Castle. Lady Asaji is the Japanese counterpart of Lady Macbeth and Isuzu Yamada delivers a very chilling performance of this woman who goads her husband into treachery and murder. I felt as though her scenes were the very best in the film.

Another scene worth mentioning is the final scene. I won't go into too many details as the film is worth watching. Let's just say Kurosawa does make changes to the end of Macbeth, and they are very successful changes. Lord Washizu (or Macbeth) meets his end in a very chilling and poignant fashion.

Rustin Allison

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