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THRONE OF BLOOD (1957) - Kurosawa/Mifune: The Samurai Films

  • year. 1957
  • country. JAPAN
  • run-time. 1h 50min
  • rating. 12

£5.00 (£3.50 conc.)

Doors 18:30 - Film 19:00

Deptford Cinema pays tribute in 2017 to Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa- one of the world’s greatest directors, who helped catapult Japanese cinema onto the global stage. Though he turned his hand to many genres over his long career, it is undeniably his period action films, or "jidaigeki", that have left the greatest mark on world cinema. His epic tales of samurais, warlords and thieves drew not only from his country's history, but from Western pop culture, and likewise found willing audiences back across the oceans. Before long, directors like Sergio Leone and George Lucas were drawing on Kurosawa's work for their own hit films; Lucas mined the plot of The Hidden Fortress when it came creating the story of his own 1977 sci-fi hit, Star Wars. Perhaps most famously, the iconic western The Magnificent Seven is a direct adaption of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.

Kurosawa also gifted the world one of the great director-actor collaborations, tapping the ferocious energy and charisma of star Toshirô Mifune over a dozen times. All the films in our season see Mifune in a leading role.

Kurosawa was fascinated by the potential of Shakespeare's plays to illuminate his own nation's complex and bloody history and his own thoughts on humanity's darker natures, and Throne of Blood was just one of many times he mined the Bard for inspiration to create a fascinating synthesis. In this re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the magnetic Toshirô Mifune plays a samurai fated to betray his friend and master in exchange for the chance of climbing up the ladder of nobility, once he hears a mysterious omen prophesizing he will be lord of the Spider's Web Castle. This film is full of remarkable and brutal imagery, with an aesthetic influenced by the highly stylised Japanese Noh theatre. Aside from Mifune, viewers will enjoy Isuzu Yamada's striking performance as his ruthless wife.

...possibly the finest Shakespearean adaptation ever committed to the screen.
— The Guardian