Throne of Blood: The Old Woman
18 April 2009
18 April 2009
Very interesting, vili.
That scene did remind me a little of several scenes in the 1968 Kaneto Shindo film Kuroneko. (he made the better known Onibaba). I think its quite a common motif in some 1960’s Japanese horror movies. I’m wondering if Throne of Blood was the first to use it, or maybe it was quite a common character type in horror/creepy Japanese movies?
Here’s something interesting. In a 1975 interview with Joan Mellen, Kurosawa mentions his basis for the character of the old woman / witch:
(I have a strong feeling that the translation here is not entirely accurate, and among other things the first sentence should begin “In the case of the witches in the wood”, as I think that Kurosawa is referring to Shakespeare there.)
I did some digging online, and from what I can see, Kurozuka (which also seems to go by the name Adachigahara) does indeed seem to have influenced not only the character but the scene as a whole. The synopsis found here describes the play as follows:
We have the spinning thread and the piles of corpses right there. It is also interesting how her second appearance appears to on some level correspond with the changed second appearance of the old woman in Throne of Blood, something that has puzzled me, as I have noted in the free will thread.
Moreover, if the remark on this page actually refers to the original Noh play and not some kind of a modern adaptation, the woman demon is actually “a monstrous spider” in the form of an old woman. There, then, is you “Spider Web Forest”.
A full script of the play can be found here, and a scene-by-scene PDF synopsis here.
The script also sheds some light to the old woman’s song, as I have noted in the song thread.