May 13, 2009

黒澤版『隠し砦の三悪人』の上原美佐:Princess in Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress


Misa Uehara starring Princess Yuki in Kurosawa's "The Hidden Fortress" (1958)

When I saw Akira Kurosawa's half-century-old "The Hidden Fortress," I kept on asking, "Who is this actress?"

Her name is Misa Uehara (don't confuse with another hot model and actress by the same name). Unfortunately two years after making a screen debut with this film, she quit acting, saying she has no talent.  Whoever made her believe she had no talent should know that a real princess doesn't behave like an actress.  Imagine former Princess Sayako on screen!  I bet everyone would blame her for exactly the same reason. Misa Uehara's Lady Yukihime was gorgeous and stunning.  It's as if other three bad men are only there to highlight her goodness.

I also enjoyed the acting of the bickering peasants, Tahei (Minoru Chiaki) and Matashichi (Kamatari Fujiwara).  The part they madly search for more sticks and struggle to climb up the rocky hillside was hilarious.  Yeah, life is hard.  As you know, they inspired George Lucas to center the Star Wars stories around R2D2 and C3PO.  Contrary to the two droids, Tahei and Matashichi are, for better or for worse, full of life and earthly desires.

The story was made by four highly acclaimed scriptwriters including Kurosawa. The way they collaborated was like this; A writes the first part preparing some impossible situations at the end, and B decides whichever way the story evolves to and finishes his part with, again, a critical moment, and so forth.  In the US, however, it's said that "Kurosawa would spend the mornings of the writing process thinking up impossible situations for the two rogue protagonists and the production crew would have the afternoon to plot out how the two would escape from certain death."  Either way, it's interesting.




1958年黒澤明監督映画『隠し砦の三悪人』(英題:The Hidden Fortress)を見て、遅まきながら雪姫に圧倒されてしまった。「日本にこんな女優さんいたっけ?」

元祖・上原美佐(80年代生まれの同姓同名の女優さんとは別)。記憶にないのも道理で、この映画でデビューのあと2年で、「私には才能ない」と芸能界をあっさり引退し、2003年には故人となっていた(Wikipediaより)。

才能がないもなにも、現実の姫は女優のようには振舞わないわけで、例えば清子元内親王が銀幕出たってきっと同じこと言われるに決まってるんだし、私は結構この作りこまないところが◎だと思ったんだけども。「三悪人」は姫の「善」を際立たせる、いわば脇役である。

太平(千秋実)と又七(藤原釜足)もすごくいい。狂ったように薪を拾って割るシーン、岩山に登るシーンがやたらと長くて、「そうそう、人生楽じゃないのよ」と(笑)。ジョージ・ルーカスがこの2人にヒントを得て『スターウォーズ』のR2D2とC3POを創作した話は有名だが、ロボと違い、太平と又七は良くも悪くも生と煩悩の塊である。

脚本は黒澤含め名脚本家4人が分け、それぞれ絶体絶命の危機んところで次の書き手にバトンタッチし、あとはノータッチという、リレーで作ったものらしい。アメリカでは「黒澤が午前、太平と又七の絶体絶命の危機の脚本を用意し、午後は製作クルーが危機脱出の筋書きを考えた」という話になっている。どっちにしても面白い。

Related;
[Spoiler Alert]Kakushi-toride no san-akunin (1958)
[Spoiler Alert]ALOR - The Velveteen Princess: Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress by Michael Lane
夜ごとの美女 : 上原美佐「隠し砦の三悪人」(1958年)

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