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A.K. (1985)

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A documentary that shows the production of Ran and discusses the film techniques of Kurosawa himself.



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Credited cast:
Shigehiko Hasumi ...
Chris Marker ...
narrator in the French version (voice)
Ishirô Honda ...
Asakazu Nakai
Takao Saitô ...
Fumio Yanoguchi ...
Takeji Sano ...
(as Takeharu Sano)
Teruyo Nogami ...
Fumisake Okada
Vittorio Dalle Ore ...
Himself (as Vittorio)
Tôru Takemitsu ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Masato Hara ...
Shinobu Muraki ...


A documentary that shows the production of Ran and discusses the film techniques of Kurosawa himself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

29 January 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akira Kurosawa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This documentary will be included as part of the Criterion Collection DVD edition of Ran (1985). See more »


Chris Marker: [narrating] In this kind of shooting, the first pitfall to avoid is appropriating a beauty that does not belong to us - to play up the lovely, backlit shot. Of course, some of that borrowed beauty will come through anyway, but we shall try to show what we see the way we see it, from *our* eye-level.
See more »


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User Reviews

The making of "Ran"
22 September 2013 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

It's interesting to see a behind the scenes documentary on an art film instead of those gigantic spectacles showing every trick of an Hollywoodian flick, those we are fed constantly on home videos - a trend so worthy and so special that some directors even plan the DVD documentaries before the actual movie is complete made and/or hit the theaters. Chris Marker's "A.K." takes us on a small but enjoyable journey following the making of Akira Kurosawa's "Ran", one of his most accomplished films. Far from the Hollywood system, this is quite primitive if compared but very special in the way everything is made and composed - the main focus here was the exterior shots, the battle scenes and actors rehearsal, and there was plenty of those since actors weren't allowed to film their scenes repeatedly.

Visually extraordinary just like "Ran" was and the narration and the chapters were brilliantly presented. But I missed certain things: Akira, the Sensei (as he's called in here) doesn't speak about the film and the experience behind this labor of love that took him several years to convince investors to fund the film. But we have shots of him directing cast and crew, so controlled and so happy, a very atypical behavior coming from a director (he only his temper in one scene and it's so subtle that you won't notice, and even doing so he was a complete gentleman). And "A.K." forgets to mention how difficult it was the whole process to get to the point where the film was made, "Ran" almost wasn't made. Kurosawa's energy and effort were so significant that the Academy board of directors insisted on a future Oscar nomination for him as Best Director in 1986 and he made it in the final list.

With views exposed and the results achieved by the film (highly praised by critics and audiences but a box-office failure) in the years to come and "A.K." would be a better film. 8/10

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