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Throne of Blood

September 11, 2010

Throne of Blood (1957)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Actors: Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Minoru Chiaki

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Synopsis: A war-hardened general (Toshiro Mifune) fulfils a prophecy of becoming a feudal tyrant….

Synopsis: This is a brilliant, idiosyncratic Japanese take on Macbeth, and is less an exercise in adaptation than in outright reinvention. Not much remains from the play in terms of concrete plot points or actual dialogue, but the general spirit and thematic richness of the story is uncannily tapped by Kurosawa. Most of all, Kurosawa finds exactly the perfect balance between the moments of rage and horror that the feudal, warring backdrop requires, but offset with a kind of haunting, transcendental desolation. This quasi-disturbing tone is captured brilliantly in the scenes involving the Witch and Lady Washizu as these eerie figures of the subconscious fade in and out of silent compositions framed solely in white or black-hued abysses. (March 2008)

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