Bob Balaban's dark comic horror about a young boy suspecting his suburban parents to be cannibals
Kurosawa's full-throated, swiftly kinetic version of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. A bloody, eerie, visceral masterpiece
"Vaulting ambition that doth o'erleap itself" was Shakespeare's chilling judgement of Macbeth, the man who murdered his way to the top, losing his sanity on the way. Kurosawa's version has a similar crazy ambition: the story is transposed to Mount Fuji, made into a hyper-stylised Noh drama. Thankfully, Kurosawa crafts these conceits into a visceral, bloody supernatural drama devoid of creative hubris and breathtaking in its beauty, cruelty and virtuosic screen storytelling.
An ambitious samurai warlord Washizu (Mifune) follows a supernatural tip-off about his imminent elevation, and murders his master. The morality is as black-and-white as the cinematography - indeed, this is a film structured around savage contrasts: Mifune snapping and blustering with a helpless, wrong-headed aggression, while Asaji (Yamada), as his Lady Macbeth and malign inspiration, remains as impassive as sculpted ice. Eerie silence reigns in Cobweb Castle, while bloody fury rages on the battlefield.
It's hardly giving the story away to say that Washizu comes to a spectacularly bloody end - in one of the most memorable, fitting slayings ever shown on the big screen. Kurosawa has taken the essence of Shakespeare's story - murder, madness, betrayal - and made a loose adaptation. The final bloody point is that these "values" are universal, whether in a blasted Scottish castle or an embattled Japanese hill fortress. But in this story at least, all that results is death, damnation and torment.
A potent adaptation that captures all the strange atmosphere of Shakespeare's play, and invests it an exhilarating, visceral aesthetic.
Film4-backed films picked up five awards at the British Independent Film Awards last night, the annual ceremony which recognises excellence and achievement in independent filmmaking. [caption id="att
In case you couldn't make it to the industry forum held at Channel 4 on Tuesday 19th November 2013, here are videos of the keynote speeches and panel discussions. For more information, docs and data,
Film4.com looks over the best chases, fights, shootouts and stunts to grace the big screen and pick the 25 greatest ever action movie sequences.
Film4.com's pick of the best films that have made that toughest of transitions: from comic book page to the big screen