Home » Learning with Youtube
Category Archives: Learning with Youtube
Enoch Arden is a two-part 1911 short silent drama film, based on the Tennyson poem of the same name. It was directed by D. W. Griffith, starred Wilfred Lucas and featured Blanche Sweet. A print of the film survives in the film archive of the Library of Congress.
Part 1: The story is set in an 18th century fishing village, and concerns a romantic triangle involving fisherman Enoch Arden, his girlfriend Annie Lee, and a wealthy rival named Philip Ray. Enoch wins the girl, they marry, and after a few years they have three children. In order to provide for his young family Enoch chooses to go to sea on a fishing vessel for an extended voyage, over the objections of Annie Lee. When the ship founders, Enoch and two other sailors make their way to an island, but his shipmates die, leaving Enoch the sole survivor. Annie Lee, meanwhile, anxiously watches for his return while Philip Ray stands by.
Part 2: The years have passed since Enoch was shipwrecked alone on an island. His wife Annie Lee has continued to watch for his return while their two children have grown to adolescence. Enoch’s rival, Philip Ray, gently tries to persuade Annie Lee that he won’t be coming home, and that she should consider remarriage. With the children urging her along, she is eventually persuaded to wed Philip Ray, to close the little cottage she shared with Enoch, and to move with the children into her new husband’s more spacious home.
Enoch, now living on his island like a miserable Robinson Crusoe, is finally rescued, but comes home to find his cottage deserted. Taking a room at an inn he learns of the marriage of Annie Lee and Philip Ray from a local gossip who doesn’t recognize him. Enoch goes to Philip Ray’s house, gazes into a window, and sees his grown children with their stepfather and Annie Lee, the latter holding a newborn baby. Realizing that his presence could only cause more grief, Enoch goes back to the inn where he dies of a broken heart.
Even though Biograph would limit him to one-reelers, DW Griffith had ambitions to move on to longer films. Once or twice before this he had followed a short up with a sequel to be released a week later, but this is his first genuine two-parter, making a full, coherent story. Although Biograph insisted it be released as two shorts, many theatre owners cottoned on and showed it as one film.
Wisely, Griffith chose to expand upon a story he had made a loose adaptation of before, Enoch Arden having been the inspiration for 1910’s The Unchanging Sea. Covering a lengthy timescale, the material is also perfectly suited to a longer running time. Griffith clearly realised that if cinema was going to flourish as a serious and unique storytelling medium, it would not only have to develop in how it conveyed information visually, but also become more subtle and naturalistic. Around the time of Enoch Arden he was really striving to perfect this, and the two parts are like a showcase for everything he had developed so far.
Griffith opens by introducing each of the three main characters with a single title revealing their name only, followed by a shot for each which serves as a brief yet meaningful introduction. Then, without resorting to another title card, he sets up the love triangle with just some careful positioning of the three actors we have just met. This economy of expression would later be taken up and developed by Cecil B. DeMille and John Ford. The use of props by actors to reveal character or emotion is also beginning to develop. In the scene where Annie Lee watches Enoch’s boat disappear over the horizon, she stops to wipe the lens of the spyglass — perhaps to see the boat clearer, perhaps also to wipe away a tear.
Griffith was also beginning to develop the emotional impact of his camera work. He had around this time been experimenting by throwing in the occasional functional close-up to clarify an object or action. Here however, in the scene where Annie gives Enoch the baby’s curl, he briefly moves the camera closer to the actors. The close-up is not to explain the action, it is to draw the audience into it and makes us involved in this poignant moment. This is a really important breakthrough.
D.W. Griffith biodata and Filmography
David Wark Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob “Roaring Jake” Griffith, a former Confederate Army colonel and Civil War hero. Young Griffith grew up with his father’s romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth-century literature that were to eventually mold his black-and-white view of human existence and history. In 1897 Griffith set out to pursue a career both acting and writing for the theater, but for the most part was unsuccessful. Reluctantly, he agreed to act in the new motion picture medium for Edwin S. Porter at the Edison Company. Griffith was eventually offered a job at the financially struggling American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., where he directed over four hundred and fifty short films, experimenting with the story-telling techniques he would later perfect in his epic The Birth of a Nation (1915).
Griffith and his personal cinematographer G.W. Bitzer collaborated to create and perfect such cinematic devices as the flash-back, the iris shot, the mask and cross-cutting. In the years following “Birth”, Griffith never again saw the same monumental success as his signature film and, in 1931, his increasing failures forced his retirement. Though hailed for his vision in narrative film-making, he was similarly criticized for his blatant racism. Griffith died in Los Angeles in 1948, one of the most dichotomous figures in film history.
His films depict the cruelty of humankind.
He has been called “the father of film technique,” “the man who invented Hollywood,” and “the Shakespeare of the screen“. In 1920, he established United Artists with Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford.
– IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael Kaminsky
List of American films on IMDb (Internet Movie Database)
The Internet Movie Database (abbreviated IMDb) is an online database of information related to films, television programs, and video games, including cast, production crew, fictional characters, biographies, plot summaries, trivia and reviews. Actors and crew can post their own résumé and upload photos of themselves for a yearly fee. U.S. users can also view over 6,000 movies and television shows from CBS, Sony, and various independent film makers.
The site enables registered users to submit new material and request edits to existing entries. Although all data are checked before going live, the system has been open to abuse, and occasional errors are acknowledged. Users are also invited to rate any film on a scale of 1 to 10, and the totals are converted into a weighted mean-rating that is displayed beside each title, with online filters employed to deter ballot-stuffing. The site also features message boards, which stimulate regular debates among authenticated users.
Scotland, PA. Directed by Billy Morrissette. Lot 47, 2001.
Reviewed by Carolyn Jess
The Queen’s University of Belfast
Jess, Carolyn. “Review of Scotland, PA. Directed by Billy Morrissette. Lot 47, 2001.” Early Modern Literary Studies 10.1 (May, 2004): 18.1-5 http://purl.oclc.org/emls/10-1/revjes2.html>.
Written and directed by Billy Morrissette. Produced by Andrew Farkas, Elizabeth Guildford. Cinematography by Wally Pfister. Production designer, Jennifer Stewart. Editor, Adam Lichtenstein. Composer, Anton Sanko. Costume designer, David C. Robinson. Set designer, Patricia Larman. With James LeGros (Joe ‘Mac’ McBeth), Maura Tierney (Pat McBeth), Christopher Walken (Lieutenant Ernie McDuff), Kevin Corrigan (Anthony ‘Banko’ Banconi), James Rebhorn (Norm Duncan), Tom Guiry (Malcolm Duncan), Amy Smart (Stacy), Andy Dick (Jesse), Timothy ‘Speed’ Levitch (Hector), Josh Pais (Douglas McKenna), Reed Rudy (Kevin ‘Tanman’ McKane).
Departing from Morrissette’s early teenage encounter with Shakespeare, Scotland, PA imagines Macbeth as a black comedy set in a fast food restaurant circa 1975. The original text is eschewed for ‘air-drawn’ evocations of the central narrative and parodic displays of adolescent approaches to the Bard and his consumption by the American high-school curriculum: at least, the way it was in the seventies. ‘Mac’ here is no ambitious Thane, but one half of a married couple of ‘underachievers who have to make up for lost time’. Pat and Mac, both in their thirties, work in Norm Duncan’s restaurant, and are figured here as the duo responsible for putting the ‘fast’ in fast food, at the cost of several lives. After a series of visitations from three ghostly hippies named Stacy, Hector, and Jesse, Mac caves in to his wife’s vociferous demands and inadvertently tips Norm face-first into his deep-fat fryer. Purchasing the restaurant from Norm’s sons at a pittance, Pat and Mac realise their dream of intercom, root beer floats, and French fries as the owners of the refurbished and newly-named ‘McBeths’. With out-of-towner Lieutenant McDuff hot on their trails, the McBeths quickly perceive that the success of their burger bar depends on a lot more murders than they had anticipated.
Successfully evoking the fashion, iconography, trends, and political upheavals of the period, Morrissette’s directorial debut is one of the most enjoyable and engaging ‘spin’ versions of Shakespeare in recent years. Maura Tierney, currently starring in the TV series E.R. and married to Morrissette for over a decade, portrays Pat/Lady Macbeth with a depth and understanding from which the film’s reflexivity may appear to detract. As she is frustrated by Norm’s incompetence and ignorance, as well as by his (unrequited) urge to force his sons into the burger business, Pat’s acerbic wit is at times justified, and is balanced by her devotion to Mac, which alters over the course of the film from self-seeking prowess to withered anxiety.
Indeed, Morrissette’s most successful effort lies in his cogent direction of the protagonists, extracting from Mac both a convincing portrait of a weak-willed burger boy and a powerful performance of a man possessed by his inner anxieties who literally stumbles upon the career of serial killing. Most telling is Morrissette’s recognition of the core of Pat’s character: that what drives her, and indeed her marriage to Mac, is her strident urgency to be in control. When Mac, numbed by his crimes and disturbed by the apparitions, promises to ‘take care’ of Pat, the ‘spot’ (an invisible oil-burn) that has bothered her throughout the film engulfs her, and she promptly ends her life by taking a cleaving knife to her tartan-gloved hand. Following Mac’s demise, Ernie McDuff quits the force to take over ‘McBeths’ as a vegetarian burger bar, leaving us to ponder if his motives in pursuing the case were ever as genuine as they appeared.
The tone of the film visibly shifts between the first and second halves from shades of grey to utterly black comedy as the wounds inflicted upon others by the McBeths become apparent as bleeding lacerations on their marriage. Shot in Nova Scotia (Latin for ‘New Scotland’), the film’s appropriation of ‘the Scottish play’ is at the level of symbolic representations of Scotland that reiterate and displace the original locality. This manoeuvre further encapsulates Morrissette’s intent, for it is not so much Shakespeare’s play that he aims to convey, but his own encounter with the play, presenting it as a manifestly subjective rendering of the text. Filling the textual gaps with seventies music, film clips, and TV serials, Morrissette delights in including many of his wife’s real-life utterances as well as his own experiences (including a shot of Banko drinking alcohol the way Morrissette used to drink, and a depiction of Malcolm’s desire to kill his boss/father, echoing Morrissette’s teenage fantasies of killing his burger bar boss). Like Scotland, Shakespeare’s play is presented according to a memory of Macbeth, which in turn serves to embody and trigger many of Morrissette’s adolescent experiences and the narcissism of the seventies.
Despite the film’s budget and production problems, Scotland, PA encases many attributes of a talented director and an ongoing interest in appropriating Shakespeare across the aesthetic and dramatic spectrum. Bringing nearly two decades of acting experience to his new career, Morrissette succeeds in directing his actors within the realms of comedy and tragedy, at the same time scripting characters who are significantly multi-dimensional, flawlessly crafted, and – perhaps the most difficult of all tasks – charismatically and sensitively engaging, despite their homicidal pastimes. In this production the hero is neither McDuff nor Mac, but rather the spectator, who is eased into dark crevices of human interaction and psychosis that are usually reserved for the genres of thriller, drama, and horror. With (mocking) aspirations towards being included on the US high-school curriculum as a bonafide Shakespeare adaptation, the film well deserves its increasing scholarly attention and consumption by future Shakespeare auteurs.
Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë‘s only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846, Wuthering Heightswas published in 1847 under the pseudonym ″Ellis Bell″; Brontë died the following year, aged 30. Wuthering Heightsand Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey were accepted by publisher Thomas Newby before the success of her sister Charlotte’snovel, Jane Eyre. After Emily’s death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights, and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850.
Wuthering Heights is the name of the farmhouse where the story unfolds. The book’s core theme is the destructive effect of jealousy and vengefulness both on the jealous or vengeful individuals and on their communities.
Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarized; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day, including religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality. The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti referred to it as “A fiend of a book – an incredible monster … The action is laid in hell, – only it seems places and people have English names there.”
In the second half of the 19th century, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was considered the best of the Brontë sisters‘ works, but following later re-evaluation, critics began to argue Wuthering Heights was superior. The book has inspired adaptations, including film, radio and television dramatisations, a musical by Bernard J. Taylor, a ballet, operas (by Bernard Herrmann, Carlisle Floyd, and Frédéric Chaslin), a role-playing game, and a 1978 song by Kate Bush.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Characters
- 3 Timeline
- 4 Themes
- 5 Publication
- 6 Inspiration for locations
- 7 Critical response
- 8 References in culture
- 9 Adaptations
- 10 Works inspired
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 Bibliography
- 14 External links
Opening (chapters 1 to 3)
In 1801, Mr Lockwood, a wealthy man from the south of England, rents Thrushcross Grange in the north for peace and recuperation. He visits his landlord, Mr Heathcliff, who lives in a remote moorland farmhouse, “Wuthering Heights“, where he finds an odd assemblage: Heathcliff seems to be a gentleman, but his manners are uncouth; the reserved mistress of the house is in her mid-teens; and a young man seems to be a family member yet dresses and speaks like a servant.
Snowed in, Lockwood is grudgingly allowed to stay and is shown to a bedchamber where he notices books and graffiti left by a former inhabitant named Catherine. He falls asleep and has a nightmare in which he sees the ghostly Catherine trying to enter through the window. He cries out in fear, rousing Heathcliff who rushes to the room. Lockwood is convinced that what he saw was real. Heathcliff, believing Lockwood to be right, examines the window and opens it hoping to allow Catherine’s spirit to enter. When nothing happens, Heathcliff shows Lockwood to his own bedroom and returns to keep watch at the window.
At sunrise, Heathcliff escorts Lockwood back to Thrushcross Grange. Lockwood asks the housekeeper, Nelly Dean, about the family at Wuthering Heights, and she tells him the tale.
Heathcliff’s childhood (chapters 4 to 17)
Thirty years earlier, Wuthering Heights is occupied by Mr Earnshaw, his teenage son Hindley and his daughter Catherine. On a trip to Liverpool, Earnshaw encounters a homeless boy described as “dark-skinned gypsy in aspect”. He adopts the boy and names him Heathcliff. Hindley feels that Heathcliff has supplanted him in his father’s affections and becomes bitterly jealous. Catherine and Heathcliff become friends and spend hours each day playing on the moors. They grow close.
Hindley is sent to college. Three years later, Earnshaw dies and Hindley becomes the master of Wuthering Heights. He returns to live there with his new wife, Frances. He allows Heathcliff to stay but only as a servant.
The following year, Frances Earnshaw gives birth to a son, named Hareton, but dies a few months later. Hindley descends into drunkenness. Two more years pass and Catherine and Edgar Linton eventually become friends while she becomes more distant from Heathcliff. While Hindley is away, Edgar visits Catherine, and they declare themselves lovers soon after.
Catherine confesses to Nelly that Edgar has proposed and she has accepted, although her love for Edgar is not comparable to her love for Heathcliff, whom she cannot marry because of his low social status and lack of education. She hopes to use her position as Edgar’s wife to raise Heathcliff’s standing. Heathcliff overhears her say it would ‘degrade’ her to marry him (but not how much she loves him) and in despair runs away and disappears without a trace. Distraught by Heathcliff’s departure, Catherine makes herself ill out of spite. Nelly and Edgar thus begin to pander to her every whim to prevent her from becoming ill again. Three years pass. Edgar and Catherine marry, and live together at Thrushcross Grange.
Six months later, Heathcliff returns, now a wealthy gentleman. Catherine is delighted; Edgar is not. Edgar’s sister, Isabella, soon falls in love with Heathcliff, who despises her but encourages the infatuation as a means of revenge. One day, he embraces Isabella, leading to an argument with Edgar. Upset, Catherine locks herself in her room, and begins to make herself ill again through spite and jealousy.
Heathcliff takes up residence at Wuthering Heights, and spends his time gambling with Hindley and teaching Hareton bad habits. Hindley dissipates his wealth and mortgages the farmhouse to Heathcliff to pay his debts. Heathcliff elopes with Isabella Linton; two months later the couple returns to Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff hears that Catherine is ill and, with Nelly’s help, visits her secretly. However, Catherine is pregnant, and the following day she gives birth to a daughter, Cathy, shortly before dying.
After Catherine’s funeral, Isabella leaves Heathcliff and takes refuge in the south of England. She too is pregnant, and gives birth to a son, Linton. Hindley dies six months after Catherine, and Heathcliff thus finds himself master of Wuthering Heights.
Heathcliff’s maturity (chapters 18 to 31)
Three years pass. Walking on the moors, Nelly and Cathy encounter Heathcliff, who takes them to Wuthering Heights to see Linton and Hareton. Heathcliff hopes Linton and Cathy will marry, so that Linton becomes the heir to Thrushcross Grange. Linton and Cathy begin a secret friendship, echoing the childhood friendship between their respective parents, Heathcliff and Catherine.
The following year, Edgar becomes very ill, taking a turn for the worse while Nelly and Cathy are out on the moors, where Heathcliff and Linton trick them into entering Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff keeps them captive to enable the marriage of Cathy and Linton to take place. After five days Nelly is released and later, with Linton’s help, Cathy escapes. She returns to the Grange to see her father shortly before he dies.
Now master of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, and Cathy’s father-in-law, Heathcliff insists on her returning to live at Wuthering Heights and remaining there after Linton’s death. Soon after she arrives, Linton dies. Hareton tries to be kind to Cathy, but she retreats and then withdraws from the world.
At this point, Nelly’s tale catches up to the present day. Time passes, and after being ill for a period Lockwood grows tired of the moors and informs Heathcliff that he will be leaving Wuthering Heights.
Ending (chapters 32 to 34)
Eight months later, Lockwood returns to the area by chance. Given that his tenancy at Thrushcross Grange is still valid, he decides to stay there again. He finds Nelly living at Wuthering Heights and enquires what has happened since he left.
She explains that she moved to Wuthering Heights to replace the housekeeper, Zillah, who had left. Hareton had an accident and was confined to the farmhouse. During his convalescence, he and Cathy overcame their mutual antipathy and became close. While their friendship developed, Heathcliff began to act strangely and had visions of Catherine. He stopped eating and after four days was found dead in Catherine’s old room. He was buried next to Catherine.
Lockwood learns that Hareton and Cathy plan to marry on New Year’s Day. As he readies to leave, he passes the graves of Catherine, Edgar, and Heathcliff, and pauses to contemplate the quiet of the moors.
The earliest known film adaptation of Wuthering Heights was filmed in England and directed by A. V. Bramble. It is unknown if any prints still exist. The most famous was 1939’s Wuthering Heights, starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon and directed by William Wyler. This acclaimed adaptation, like many others, eliminated the second generation’s story (young Cathy, Linton and Hareton) and is rather inaccurate as an literature adaption. It won the 1939 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film and was nominated for the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture.
The 1970 film with Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff is the first colour version of the novel, and gained acceptance over the years though it was initially poorly received. The character of Hindley is portrayed much more sympathetically, and his story-arc is altered. It also subtly suggests that Heathcliff may be Cathy’s illegitimate half-brother.
In 1978 the BBC produced a five part TV serialisation of the book starring Ken Hutchinson, Kay Adshead and John Duttine with music by Carl Davis; it is considered one of the most faithful adaptations of Emily Brontë’s story.
The 1992 film Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche is notable for including the oft-omitted second generation story of the children of Cathy, Hindley and Heathcliff.
Recent film or TV adaptations include ITV‘s 2009 two part drama series starring Tom Hardy, Charlotte Riley, Sarah Lancashire, and Andrew Lincoln. and the2011 film starring Kaya Scodelario and James Howson and directed by Andrea Arnold.
Adaptations which reset the story in a new setting include the 1954 adaptation retitled Abismos de Pasion directed by Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel set in Catholic Mexico, with Heathcliff and Cathy renamed Alejandro and Catalina. In Buñuel’s version Heathcliff/Alejandro claims to have become rich by making a deal with Satan. The New York Times reviewed a re-release of this film as “an almost magical example of how an artist of genius can take someone else’s classic work and shape it to fit his own temperament without really violating it,” noting that the film was thoroughly Spanish and Catholic in its tone while still highly faithful to Brontë.Yoshishige Yoshida‘s 1988 adaptation also has a transposed setting, this time in medieval Japan. In Yoshida’s version, the Heathcliff character, Onimaru, is raised in a nearby community of priests who worship a local fire god. In 2003, MTV produced a poorly reviewed version set in a modern California high school.
The 1966 Indian film Dil Diya Dard Liya is based upon this novel. The film is directed by Abdul Rashid Kardar and Dilip Kumar. The film stars the thespian Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rehman, Pran, Rehman, Shyama and Johnny Walker. The music is by the legendary composer Naushad. Although it did not fare as well as other movies of Dilip Kumar, it was well received by critics
The novel has been popular in opera and theatre, including operas written by Bernard Herrmann, Carlisle Floyd, and Frédéric Chaslin (most cover only the first half of the book) and a musical by Bernard J. Taylor.
In 2011, a graphic novel version was published by Classical Comics, and stays close to the original novel. It was adapted by Scottish writer Sean Michael Wilsonand hand painted by comic book veteran artist John M Burns. This version received a nomination for the Stan Lee Excelsior Awards, voted by pupils from 170 schools in the United Kingdom.
- Bloom’s Guides: Wuthering Heights
- Charlotte’s 1850 Edition
- “Excerpts from Contemporary Reviews”. Academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- “”Wuthering Heights”: Publication & Contemporary Critical Reception”. Academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Letter of Sept. 19 1854
- “Later Critical Response to Wuthering Heights”. Academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- Eagleton, Terry. Myths of Power: A Marxist Study of the Brontës. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
- Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Imagination. New Haven: Yale UP, 2000.
- Harley, James (1958). “The Villain in Wuthering Heights” (PDF). p. 17. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
- Oates, Joyce Carol. “The Magnanimity of Wuthering Heights”, Critical Inquiry, 1983
- Moers, Ellen. Literary Women: The Great Writers (London: The Women’s Press, 1978)
- Beauvais, Jennifer. “Domesticity and the Female Demon in Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights”, Romanticism on the Net, Numéro 44, novembre 2006, DOI: 10.7202/013999ar
- Cristina Ceron, Christina. “Emily and Charlotte Brontë’s Re-reading of the Byronic hero”, Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [Online], Writers, writings, Literary studies, document 2, 9 March 2010, DOI : 10.4000/lisa.3504
- Wuthering Heights Vol.1
- Wuthering Heights Vol.2
- Irene Wiltshire: Speech in Wuthering Heights
- Paul Thompson (June 2009). “Wuthering Heights: the home of the Earnshaws”. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
- Paul Thompson (June 2009). “The inspiration for the Wuthering Height’s farmhouse?”. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
- Robert Barnard (2000) Emily Brontë
- Ian Jack (1995) Explanatory Notes in Oxford World’s Classics edition ofWuthering Heights
- Publication Stir
- American Whig Review
- Critical reception
- Critical reception
- Literary World review
- Britannia review
- Wuthering Heights (1920) at the Internet Movie Database
- Wuthering Heights (2009(TV)) at the Internet Movie Database
- Vincent Canby (27 December 1983). “Abismos de Pasion (1953) Bunuel’s Brontë”. New York Times. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- “Classical Comics”. Classical Comics. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Whiteley, Sheila (2005). Too much too young: popular music, age and gender. Psychology Press. p. 9. ISBN 0-415-31029-6.
- Tromeur, Philippe (January 2011). “Wuthering Heights” game. Many reviews of the game use an older link. Retrieved on 8 January 2011 fromhttp://www.unseelie.org/rpg/wh/index.html.
- The former on page 11, the latter on p. 611
Throne of Blood (蜘蛛巣城 Kumonosu-jō?, literally, “Spider Web Castle”) is a 1957 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film transposes the plot of William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth to feudal Japan, with stylistic elements drawn from Noh drama.
Generals Miki and Washizu are Samurai commanders under a local lord, Lord Tsuzuki, who reigns in the castle of the Spider’s Web Forest. After defeating the lord’s enemies in battle, they return to Tsuzuki’s castle. On their way through the thick forest surrounding the castle, they meet a spirit, who foretells their future. The spirit tells them that today Washizu will be named master of the North Castle and Miki will now command Fort One. She then foretells that Washizu will eventually become Lord of Forest Castle, and finally she tells Miki that his son will also become lord of the castle.
When the two return to Tsuzuki’s estate, he rewards them with exactly what the spirit had predicted. As Washizu discusses this with Asaji, his wife, she manipulates him into making the second part of the prophecy come true by killing Tsuzuki when he visits. Washizu kills him with the help of his wife, who gives drugged sake to the lord’s guards, causing them to fall asleep. When Washizu returns in shock at his deed, Asaji grabs the bloody spear and puts it in the hands of one of the three unconscious guards. She then yells “murder” through the courtyard, and Washizu slays the guard before he has a chance to plead his innocence.
Tsuzuki’s vengeful son Kunimaru and an advisor to Tsuzuki (and rival of Washizu) named Noriyasu both suspect Washizu as the murderous traitor and try to warn Miki, who refuses to believe what they are saying about his friend. Washizu, though, is unsure of Miki’s loyalty, but he wants to trust his friend and he still plans to let Miki’s son be his heir, since he and Asaji have been unable to bear a child of their own.
Washizu plans to tell Miki and his son about his decision at a grand banquet, but Asaji tells him that she is pregnant, which leaves him with a quandary concerning his heir, as now Miki’s son has to be eliminated. During the banquet Washizu drinks sake copiously because he is clearly agitated, and at the sudden appearance of Miki’s ghost, begins losing control. In his delusional panic, he reveals his betrayal to all by exclaiming that he is willing to slay Miki for a second time, going so far as unsheathing his sword and striking over Miki’s mat. Asaji, attempting to pick up the pieces of Washizu’s blunder, tells the guests that he is drunk and that they must retire for the evening. Then one of his men arrive with the severed head of Miki. The guard also tells them that Miki’s son escaped.
Later, distraught upon hearing of his wife’s miscarriage and in dire need of help with the impending battle with his foes, he returns to the forest to summon the spirit. She tells him that he will not be defeated unless the very trees of Spider’s Web forest rise against the castle. Washizu believes this is impossible and is confident of his victory. Washizu knows he must kill all his enemies, so he tells his troops of the last prophecy, and they share his confidence.
He then finds Asaji in a semi-catatonic state, trying to wash clean the imaginary foul stench of blood from her hands, obviously distraught at her grave misdeeds. Distracted by the sound of his troops moving outside the room, he investigates and is told by a panicked soldier that the trees of Spider’s Web forest “have risen to attack us.” The prophecy has come true and Washizu is doomed.
As Washizu tries to get his troops to attack, they remain still. Finally they turn on their master and begin firing arrows at him to appease Miki’s son and Noriyasu. Washizu finally succumbs to his wounds just as his enemies approach the castle gates. It is revealed that the attacking force is using trees cut down during the previous night to disguise and protect themselves in their advance on the castle.
The castle exteriors were built and shot high up on Mt. Fuji. The castle courtyard was constructed at Toho’s Tamagawa studio, with volcanic soil brought from Fuji so that the ground would match. The interiors were shot in a smaller Tokyo studio. The forest scenes were a combination of actual Fuji forest and studio shots in Tokyo. Washizu’s mansion was shot in the Izu peninsula.
In Kurosawa’s own words, “It was a very hard film to make. We decided that the main castle set had to be built on the slope of Mount Fuji, not because I wanted to show this mountain but because it has precisely the stunted landscape that I wanted. And it is usually foggy. I had decided that I wanted lots of fog for this film… Making the set was very difficult because we didn’t have enough people and the location was so far from Tokyo. Fortunately, there was a U.S. Marine Corps base nearby and they helped a great deal; also a whole MP battalion helped us out. We all worked very hard indeed, clearing the ground, building the set. Our labor on this steep fog-bound slope, I remember, absolutely exhausted us; we almost got sick.”
Washizu’s famous death scene, in which his own archers turn upon him and fill his body with arrows, was in fact performed with real arrows, a choice made to help Mifune produce realistic facial expressions of fear. The arrows seen to impact the wooden walls were not superimposed or faked by special effects, but instead shot by choreographed archers. During filming, Mifune waved his arms, ostensibly because his character was trying to brush away the arrows embedded in the planks; this indicated to the archers the direction in which Mifune wanted to move.
- Stephen Prince, The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa (Princeton University Press, 1991),142-147.
- Donald Richie. “Kurosawa on Kurosawa.” Sight and Sound, Spring-Summer and Fall-Winter, 1964.
- Harold Bloom, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. New York: 1999. ISBN 1-57322-751-X, p. 519.
- Derek Malcolm. Akira Kurosawa: Throne of Blood. March 4, 1999.guardian.co.uk. November 19, 2008
For Literature and Film lovers, this course is ideal as an introductory course to understanding Film theory, Film history, Film and Literature.
The course includes Literature reviews and Screening of the a list of films for discussions.
Here are some useful resources for studying this topic:
|Understanding Film||How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond,||James Monaco|
|Style & Technical Matter||Film Style and Technology: History and Analysis, Barry Salt.||James Monaco|
|Film Theory||Film Theory and Criticism,||Braudy and Cohen|
|Film History||Film History: an Introduction (readings 11/18/22/24/26)||Bordwell and Thompson|
|“History of American Cinema” Series UCaliforniaP||Musser / Bower|
|Film and Literature||Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader,||Timothy Corrigan|
|The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen,||Cartmell and Whelehan|
|Adaptation and Appropriation,||Julie Sanders|
Course Code: CERT.ENGLIT.001
Instructors: to be confirmed.
Start date: June 1st, 2015
Duration: 24 weeks.
To register: firstname.lastname@example.org