First published in 1623, Shakespeare’s Macbeth has seen a myriad of adaptations, stemming from its cultural relevance within political history. The great Orson Welles, a decade before turning to the silver screen, directed Macbeth for the Negro Theatre Unit in 1936, which stirred controversy within the black community of Harlem, accused of mocking black culture. Though on a grander scale, Welles’ production can be viewed as a telling tale of evil abroad, as Europe became engulfed in strife with the rise of Hitler’s regime, it quickly became an imperative reflection on the duality between reality and fantasy – how difficult it must be to sympathize with a character that so greatly reflects a tyrant’s hysteria.
Tag: Throne of Blood
By William Benker
Throne of Blood – 1957 – dir. Akira Kurosawa
The power of prophecy and influence drives Akira Kurosawa’s revitalized Macbeth in Throne of Blood. In the midst of feudal Japan, Washizu (played by Kurosawa regular, Toshiro Mifune) bears witness to the complete corruption and dissection of himself by his own hand. Kurosawa’s grim look at the sheer power of outside influence strikes at the heart of Throne of Blood, truly expressing what is sacrificed when one loses himself in another’s foreboding. The intricate maze of self-deception, paranoia and selfishness leaves little to wonder at beside the rigid forest that guards Spider Web Castle.