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?」





[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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