As late as this HMWYBS entry is, it's still not as late as my introduction to Akira Kurosawa which came just last year when I saw Rashomon just to check it off my bucket list. Unsurprisingly, I really liked it. So why didn't I immediately watch more of his films? I wished I knew, but thankfully with Throne of Blood I got to see my second Kurosawa film and well, it was great.
I knew the film was loosely based on Shakespeare's "Macbeth," but that really was all I knew about the film. Transposing the story to feudal Japan is both ridiculous and genius infusing this adaptation with a bold sense of identity. It's at this point I wish I knew more about a lot of things like Shakespeare's dramas, Japanese theater history, Kurosawa's cinematic style, etc. in order to delve more deeply into this beautiful film. Instead, I'll just focus on the one thing that stood out even to a Kurosawa neophyte like myself, his captivating and scary Lady Asaji Washizu, his Lady Macbeth.
The film for me didn't really begin until she makes her first appearance, a statue of a figure sowing doubts to her husband. Her stillness is what caught me off-guard as she simultaneously rages a storm within her husband and the film at large with just words. My pick of best shot though is the first time she moves...
She turns her head slowly, but surely towards her husband and with a deadly smile pretty much calls him a liar. It's such a small scene and yet so damn memorable, because the performance is just THAT good (and chilling). That really is the only time she moves at all during that whole sequence and yet by the end of that scene the audience knew she was a force to be reckoned with.
And now with two films I've really liked from him, I guess one question remains: Which Kurosawa film should I see next?