Kurosawa generally is recognized as the best of the modern Japanese filmmakers. He was the first Japanese director to gain international recognition, partly because his storytelling technique is not culture-bound. Rashomon (1950), a story of rape and terror that is told from several different viewpoints, received first prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1951; the film's title has become synonymous with the concept of subjective truth expressed in widely varying versions of the same story. The Seven Samurai (1954), a humanistic tale of samurai risking their lives to defend a poor village, is another Kurosawa classic. Kurosawa has always been attracted to Western literature, and two of his most notable films are based on Shakespeare's plays: Throne of Blood (1957), a retelling of Macbeth, and Ran (1985), a masterly reinterpretation of King Lear.