Friday, June 17, 2011

Sensei, My Sensei: Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood"

What can I say about Sensei Akira Kurosawa that has not already been said, and in all honesty said more intelligently and more eloquently than anything I might offer. Sensei change my life with his work, and in particular, with his adaptation of my favorite play by William Shakespeare, Macbeth. Kumonosu-jō (蜘蛛巣城), meaning "Spider Web Castle", which was retitled "Throne of Blood" is my favorite Kurosawa film. It was a stylistic experiment for Sensei at the time in terms of its stylistic nods to Japanese Noh (a masked theatrical performance style dating back to the 1400's).

There is so much I could say about this film, but I would prefer you experience it for yourself. The set design, the use of mist for atmospheric depth and composition, and the performances of Toshirō Mifune and Isuzu Yamada are all sublime and have been seared into my consciousness.