“Daggers of the Mind”: Shakespeare’s Occult Influences and Japanese Horror

Date(s) - Tue. Nov. 17, 2015 - Tue. Nov. 24, 2015
12:00 am GMT

Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

J. Shea


This year’s edition of “Shakespeare and Horror” looks at Early Modern beliefs in witchcraft, magic, and especially mind-control. In addition to discussing Renaissance discourse on the “transitive” powers of vision and imagination—the notion that minds and matter can be influenced by another subject across the visual field—we’ll consider how Shakespeare’s allusions to proto-hypnosis, “fascination” by the evil eye, and demonic mental influences translate into the Japanese art-horror films of two (unrelated) Kurosawas. During our first session we’ll view THRONE OF BLOOD aka SPIDER WEB CASTLE (1957), Akira Kurosawa’s gothic, Noh-influenced adaptation of Macbeth. In our second class we’ll watch Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s CURE (1997), a cinematic initiation into a world mesmerism and contagious violence.