(This is not a review or a critique of "Throne of Blood". I just wanted to write about a very minor aspect of the film. Go look up IMDB for reviews.)
While watching Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" (or "Spider's Web Castle") recently, it struck me that almost none of the conversations between characters are filmed using reverse shots, or over-the-shoulder shots (by which I mean: when Character A talks to Character B, we see B's face from over A's shoulder and when B speaks, vice versa.)
Of course, this is by design. This theatre-like approach (AK wanted to shoot the film like a Noh theatre production) prevented me from taking sides with any character immediately. It also distanced me from the action in a way that I felt I could not intervene in these people's bloody lives and stop them from reaching their tragic conclusion. Which makes it even more tragic.
But the artist that Kurosawa is, during a critical point in the story (during the celebratory dinner sequence), he puts us in the shoes of a non-existent being for a few seconds. And what do we see? Mifune's eyes widening in disbelief and fear, as he sees the "ghost". The sudden removal of that carefully calculated distance gives us a close look at Mifune's guilty conscience.
And only then you feel truly sorry for that character.
"Throne of Blood" is not always faithful to "Macbeth" (which diminishes the complexity of Mifune's character) but Akira the Emperor always leaves you with at least one or two things that are simply unforgettable. For me, it's the sound of Asaji's silk kimono swooshing in the still of the night and the startling cry of the birds.
Here's a good essay on the film, if you want to compare "Macbeth" and "Throne of Blood".