6 items from 2016
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû, Mieko Harada, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Hisashi Igawa, Masayuki Yui, Kazuo Katô, Norio Matsui | Written by Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Masato Ide | Directed by Akira Kurosawa
When aging warlord Hidetori Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai) decides it is time for him to retire, he divides the lands he rules between his three sons. This causes a bitter power struggle between his eldest sons, and his youngest being banished for his warning of the impending doom. As the reality of retirement his Ichimonji war breaks out, with the banished son being the only one who could possibly save his father from the warring brothers.
Ran starts off showing the epic landscape of Japan, teasing at what to expect from the film, and this location is used to full effect in the film. There are many huge battles that feel truly impressive, but the real magic is »
- Paul Metcalf
Chicago – The master director Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) gave us a treasure trove of cinematic wizardry, to savor and revisit for years to come. Rialto Pictures is distributing the latest 4K restoration of one of his greatest pictures, “Ran” (1985). As part of a nationwide road show, it’s currently at the Gene Siskel Film Center of Chicago.
The story is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” if the kingdom were present in 16th Century Japan. This is part of Kurosawa’s fascination and film journey (“Throne of Blood,” “Seven Samurai”) with the Japanese warrior culture, in the days of the samurai rule. This is his epic, the color film adaptation that is spectacularly rendered, so beautiful in its restoration it will make your eyes hurt in the finest way. The tale is compelling, the acting is sublime and the action sequences are better than any hack superhero film. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Staggering battle sequences, thrones of blood and the spirit of Macbeth are abroad in one of the greatest screen adaptations of Shakespeare
The re-release of Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 epic Ran (the word means “chaos”) is an opportunity to see this stunning free transformation of King Lear, one of the great screen adaptations of Shakespeare. Perhaps it was the defamiliarising effect of Kurosawa’s film which, for me, opened up the meaning of Lear: a kind of human arrogance and self-importance which, in the face of mortality, needs to believe the world will be a divided and diminished thing when we are gone.
As well as Lear, Ran draws on the dark spirit of Macbeth, with its images of a scheming wife, a throne of blood and massed soldiery: fatally misleading and ominous, as in Dunsinane. After a lifetime of brutal rule, ageing feudal lord Hidetora (Tatsuya Nakadai) tells his three »
- Peter Bradshaw
In 1979 Akira Kurosawa was finding it extremely hard to get funding in Japan. Believing Kurosawa to be no longer financially viable, especially considering his epics, it was up to some new American kids on the block to come forward and lend their idol a hand. Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund Kagemusha in its final push of production, and the film became such a hit in Japan that in 1985, it was easier to acquire the budget necessary for the most expensive Japanese film at the time, and Kurosawa’s final epic Ran.
30 years on from its UK release, we can now look back at Kurosawa’s entire catalogue and judge accordingly. As one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived (in my opinion The best »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai – Yojimbo, Kagemusha) an ageing warlord who, after spending his life consolidating his empire, decides to abdicate and divide his kingdom amongst his three sons, Taro (Akira Terao – Letter from the Mountain, Dreams), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu – The Man in White, Red Shadow: Akakage) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryû – Tono monogatari, Gojo reisenki: Gojoe). When Hidetora’s youngest son Saburo voices concerns about the wisdom of his father’s plan, claiming that treachery within the family will be inevitable, Hidetora mistakes these comments for a threat and banishes him. This allows Taro and Jiro to take the reigns of power unopposed, leading to a brutal and bloody struggle to win absolute power.
Ran is set for release on April 1st.
- Amie Cranswick
The final masterpiece from legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, Ran, which translates as ‘turmoil’, is Kurosawa’s meditation on Shakespeare’s King Lear crossed with the history of Japan’s 16th century Civil Wars and the legend of Morikawa, a feudal warlord with three sons.
Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai – Yojimbo, Kagemusha) an ageing warlord who, after spending his life consolidating his empire, decides to abdicate and divide his kingdom amongst his three sons, Taro (Akira Terao – Letter from the Mountain, Dreams), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu – The Man in White, Red Shadow: Akakage) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryû – Tono monogatari, Gojo reisenki: Gojoe). When Hidetora’s youngest son Saburo voices concerns about the wisdom of his father’s plan, claiming that treachery within the family will be inevitable, »
- Gary Collinson
6 items from 2016
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