It’s impossible to watch the unforgettable climax of Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and not wonder, How’d they do that? Spoilers ahead: In the scene, Toshiro Mifune’s ruthless warrior, modeled on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, finally gets his comeuppance in the form of a shower of arrows. Some narrowly miss him, others, well, do not. To get some insight into how Kurosawa, his crew, and, of course, Mifune, accomplished this, check out this short clip from a supplement on our new edition of the film, taken from the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create. In it, the film’s set decorator and prop master Koichi Hamamura fills us in some of the tricks of the trade (yes, those were real arrows), as well as the suitably terrified star’s response to having acted out this ambitious, violent denouement.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.
A Howl of Defiance from the Italian Sixties
Marco Bellocchio’s subversive debut feature, Fists in the Pocket, emerged out of a period of social unrest, taking aim at both bourgeois values and Catholic hypocrisy.