Detroit Film Theatre


Saturday, August 13, 2011

4:00 PM

(Japan/1957—directed by Akira Kurosawa)

Akira Kurosawa’s ingenious screen adaptation of Macbeth sets Shakespeare’s timeless story of greed, ambition and murder in 16th century Japan. The celebrated actress Isuzu Yamada is mesmerizing as the Lady Macbeth character (you’ll never forget her handwashing scene), who goads her warrior husband (Toshiro Mifune) into murdering his warlord and seizing the throne for himself. Throne of Blood tells its tale with a swift, muscular narrative thrust leading to the legendary “pincushion” finale in which Mifune becomes the target of countless arrows; it’s a climax as stylized as kabuki and as satisfying as a great American western. This remains the definitive example of not only Shakespeare’s universality, but also of how a classic can be completely reinterpreted in another medium without forsaking its soul. In Japanese with English subtitles. (105 min.)

“A virtuoso exercise. There may never be a more chilling lady Macbeth.” –Pauline Kael, The New Yorker