Throne of Blood (1957)
"In Kurosawa’s film and worldview, the cycle of human violence never ends. Thus the film’s many circular motifs describe the real tragedy at the heart of the history that Throne of Blood dramatizes. Why do people kill each other so often and through so many ages? Kurosawa had no answer to this question. But he showed us here, through the film’s chorus, its circularity, and its Buddhist aesthetics, that there may not finally be an answer within this world.
"The aesthetics and philosophy of Throne of Blood take us well beyond Shakespeare, and that’s why this is a great film. Its accomplishments are not beholden to another medium or artist. Kurosawa gives us his own vision, expressed with ruthless, chilling power, and it’s the totality of that vision, its sweep and its uncompromising nature, that move and terrify us and that we are so seldom privileged to see in cinema.”
Stephen Prince, Criterion Collection
Alternative Candidate Rating: 4.5/5