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Throne of Blood

Throne of Blood (1957), original title Kumonosu-jo (‘Spider's Web Castle’), is a film by Akira Kurosawa, which transposes the plot of William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth to medieval Japan. more...

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Kurosawa was an admirer of Noh drama, and acknowledged the stylistic influence it had on Throne of Blood. This influence can be seen in many aspects of the film, from the staging, to the characterizations, to the editing and direction.

Kurosawa follows the events of Macbeth fairly closely, although Kurosawa’s Washizu (played by Toshiro Mifune) is arguably less evil than Macbeth, while his wife Asaji (played by Isuzu Yamada) is even nastier than Lady Macbeth. They both get their comeuppance, Washizu in a spectacular scene where he is shot by his own archers and stumbles forward like a porcupine before being shot in the neck and staring into the camera as he dies.

The film, shot in black and white, is arguably one of the finest of its time, creating a phantasmal world between the witch that gives Washizu what he wants and the lunar landscape of his heart and his home.


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