Throne of Blood
Wednesday Oct 18 01:00 PM
Thursday Oct 19 07:30 PM
Doris Duke Theatre
Museum members: $10.00
General Admission: $12.00
About the Film:
Part of Akira Kurosawa Retrospective
Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Japan. 1957. Japanese with English subtitles. 109 min.
A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood sets Shakespeare’s definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan. As a hardened warrior who rises savagely to power, Toshiro Mifune gives a remarkable, animalistic performance, as does Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife. Throne of Blood fuses classical Western tragedy with formal elements taken from Noh theater to create an unforgettable cinematic experience.
Kurosawa borrowed from Western form as much as he gave to it, and Throne of Blood is likely the best example (at least up to this point in his career) of his ability to hybridize Western narratives with Japanese aesthetics. Shakespeare’s Macbeth sets the stage for a tale of a military commander possessed by his own tyrannical ambition. The film forgoes Shakespearean dialogue in adapting the famous “Scottish play”, but more than makes up for it through the stunning visual poetry of its cinematography and Noh theater-inspired set design.