All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
The Greatest Shakespeare Film
A story of greed, a lust for power, and ultimate revenge when an elderly lord abdicates to his three sons, and the two corrupt ones turn against him. A profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power.
With its powerful undercurrent of themes such as greed, power, religion, deception and revenge always at hand, breathtaking vistas captured which give the illusion of depth in the screen and the embodiment of a strange, barbaric beauty, Akira Kurosawa's Ran is a cinematic achievement unparalleled and incomparable. Ran is not a perfect film, but it is one that perfects particular components so powerfully and superlatively that all flaws are decimated, much like the measureless armies that Kurosawa presents and controls in his awesome battle sequences. With it's sweeping camera movements and sense of scope mastered, Ran is an experience that is provocative, haunting, educational and above all, enthralling.
As we enter an unfamiliar land but observe a familiar story unfold,…
Yet, there is hardly anything chaotic about Ran. A certain degree of harmony is always present, regardless of what is depicted on screen, be it war, manipulation, betrayal, or masssacre. A field trampled over by horses yet undisturbed, soldiers marched and chanted in an orderly fashion, a battlefield filmed in silence. Even the fire and smoke seemed geometrically symmetrical.
Everything just looks so... calculated. Organized. Every prop, down to each speck of dust, is exactly where Kurosawa wanted them to be. The position of the actors, where they'd look, where they'd put their hands, even the mountains at the background, the flowers, the clouds, are all adjusted to fit each frame perfectly. Kurosawa had full control over his film, like a painter would have over his painting.
Now, that is something.
I find it the hardest to rate the 5 star films, especially when they are epics.
It is much easier to rate films like Raging Bull simply because while there are a lot to praise, mostly the praise falls on the director, camera and acting.
In films like Once Upon a Time in America and now Ran, the film has so much, especially when they are 2 1/2 hours or longer.
Its a little funy that while so many of his films have been Americanized [(Maginifcent Seven (Seven Samurai), Star Wars (Hidden Fortress), Yojimbo (A Fistfull of Dollars)], Kurosawa went and adapted William Shakespeare's King Lear.
The prevailing emotion in this film is anger. Rage, hatred, loathing. It is such a bitter, angry film that even the clouds in it seem to seethe with it. What we see is the tale of a proud, powerful man whose rule is so absolute he cannot fathom the fall he is about to experience, and what we see is the fall of a man whose past has done nothing but maim, murder, and malign those around him. He has forged his fate a thousand times over in warfare and conquest. When he demands his sons split evenly the kingdom he has created, he naively believes his authority will persist beyond his willingly ceding that authority.
This is not King…
In a mad world only the mad are sane.
King Lear in Feudal Japan by way of Akira Kurosawa. While some of Hollywood's biggest directors were looking at Kurosawa for inspiration he was looking at Shakespeare for his. (note: the story is also combined with a samurai legend).
Widely considered Kurosawa's last masterpiece, I can't argue, mainly because I haven't seen his last three films (yet) but I can't imagine them surpassing this one with all due respect to the master. How appropriate is it that his last great film is based on samurai legend with a character based on King Lear at this stage in his life?
Watching the film knowing it's background also gives it a special…
After watching this film I have concluded that Akira Kurosawa is a genius. I mean, I already did after watching the masterpiece that was Seven Samurai, but this sprawling epic somehow manages to become superior to something that has no inferior, a masterpiece outdone by an another.
Ran is an incredibly powerful film, unmatched in it's ability to move the audience. We sympathise with a character we know we shouldn't and begin to learn from him. Forgiveness over battle and urge. If we swallowed our pride and just let our instincts go, there will be peace. These people were too proud, did not trust their fellow man. Thus it created war. Trust bought about the potential of a greater peace,…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Notas personales/personal notes:
-El anciano entre las flechas en llamas.
-Los caballos cruzando el río.
-Salpicadura de sangre casi al final (decapitación): elegantísima.
-Memorable plano final. Cargado de simbología y mensaje.
I much prefer to see dollars spent on the screen this way. Large armies and burning buildings are truly amazing when they aren't digitally conjured.
Not my favorite Kurosawa Shakespeare movie, but that's praising with faint damnation. The performances, despite having neither Mifune nor Shimura, are fantastic. The use of color is really great, and helps the large scale battles here work even better than in The Hidden Fortress. Kurosawa, like the NFL, understands the visual pleasures of watching large groups of primary colors fight each other. The only downside, and this definitely isn't the movie's fault, was the poor Fox Lorber transfer. At some point I should watch this on blu ray or even in a theatre.
The only negative thing I can say about this is that it never reaches the heights of the castle siege midway through. That scene may be the most poetic sequence Kurosawa ever filmed, cutting out all sound except for the score and delivering a delirious cacophony of sound and image. Violence, or at least the true horror and gruesomeness of it, had only been hinted at up until this point, and the images provide a sort of catharsis as we see Hidetora go mad watching his own men get bloodily sliced apart and shot through with arrows, a scene which he has no doubt witnessed innumerable times from the winning side. Working in color, and without the restrictions of 1950s/60s…
"I am lost."
"Such is the human condition."
Kurosawa's beautiful rendition of Shakespeare's King Lear is a colorful, awe-inspiring, and heartfelt epic. After seeing several of his other films, I am amazed to see him stick to his style through the 80s and how color influences his composition of movement. While the battles were bloody and a HUGE scale, there wasn't that much actual violence on camera until the finale. The first 30 minutes sets up the downward spiral of Hidetora, with the main difference between Shakespeare's is using sons instead of daughters. The fool is whimsical and is reminiscent of the pair from 'The Hidden Fortress.' While it is slow, the cinematography draws the eye in along with the pompous performances.
A lot of Kurosawa's films are described as epics but Ran probably takes the cake as the most epic of them all. The battle sequences are choreographed to perfection and through the camera you feel like you are there in the midst of it. The cinematography is just beautiful and the use of colour is marvelous. The influence on other films such as Hero is clear. I wasn't very familiar with King Lear going in but this story is a tragedy in the truest sense.
(Original review outdated, re-evaluation required at later date)
Illustrious story about individual relationships within a family. Deals with understanding human mentality/emotion and even mental illness/trauma.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!