Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
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,…
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.
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,…
While not quite the masterpiece that I found Seven Samurai to be...Ran is undoubtedly an expertly crafted epic that shows the breakdown of a family amidst the pointlessness of war.
I think the father's descent into madness throughout this film will haunt my dreams forever. It's the one aspect of this film that kept me glued to the screen. In all honestly, the actual war scenes at times were a bit confusing and hard to follow, sometimes featuring people or clans whose identities and motivations were unclear to me. Not saying it all doesn't make sense...but as a first time watch there were times in which I struggled to piece together who was fighting who and for what reason. For…
Emotionally powerful, visually stunning and technically perfect, Kurosawa's Ran is often considered alongside Seven Samurai, Rashomon and Ikiru to be the director's best film, directed at the age of 75.
Ran tells the story of Lord Hidetora, an aging lord with a dark and antagonizing past who upon abdicating to his three sons, finds himself the victim of betrayal by his two elder sons, learning of the true nature of the world and is haunted by memories of his past.
Lord Hidetora joins Takashi Shimura's Watanabe, the elderly bureaucrat from Ikiru as probably the most compelling character ever to appear in a Kurosawa film and is portrayed brilliantly by Tatsuya Nakadai, a previous collaborator of Kurosawa's.
Visually mesmerizing, Ran is…
The scope and sustained, heavy tone of Ran allow for drama that could rightfully be described as Shakespearean. Kurosawa quietly opens the film and maintains this naturalistic feel until the explosion and horror of the first battle sequence, where the intensity and brutality escalate to dizzying heights. Similar to Kagemusha, Ran is an epic tale that keeps personal drama in focus. One is left, however, with the image of the blind Tsurumaru, bereft of his sister, his flute, and the image of the Buddha, silhouetted next to the precipice of a ruined castle. Not only personal, but national tragedy is wrapped up in this final shot.
It's a fucking masterpiece, quite simply.
"There comes a time to step aside, and pass on the reins to younger hands. I say to you : that time is now."
Akira Kurosawa transforms Shakespeare's classic tale of King Lear into an epic film set in sixteenth-century Japan. The film opens on a grassy mountain top as Lord Hidetora Ichimonji makes the decision to pass on his rule to his three sons. Being a Shakespeare adaptation, things get ugly quick, and two of the great lord's sons turn against him. I decided to watch Kagemusha and Ran in the same week so that I could see how the two films compare. Where Kagemusha's story falls a little short in my opinion, Ran gets everything right. I had…
Strikingly beautiful. Outrageously melodramatic. This isn't my favorite Kurosawa, but being less of a Masterpiece than, say, "Seven Samurai" still makes it more of a Masterpiece than most directors could hope to achieve. And remember; none of those soldiers, horses, clouds, arrows, flames, or sprays of blood are CGI.
With each Kurosawa film I see, I become a bigger fan of his. Although the first of his films that I saw, High and Low, remains my favorite, the three that I have seen so far are absolutely outstanding.
Ran is one of Kurosawa's most epic films, and this is only compounded by his use of color. The use of primary colors among the samuari troops is impressive, but what sticks with the viewer more is the red blood in the huge setpiece in the middle of the film. It's reminiscent of the pink smoke in Kurosawa's High and Low (the only color in the entire film). In this setpiece in Ran, the reds are highlighted and stand out, bringing…
Forget about that over rated "Lord of the Rings" franchise, "Ran" has to be one of the finest, if not the finest, epic tails of all time. It's not just battles and such, like your normal everyday epic movie will have. No this movie deals with so many other things such as paranoia/insanity, family, marriage, betrayal, and having tables being turned on you. All were handled fantastically. But this film puts all of those aspects on such a grand scale, that you can't help but enjoy it. But there are some flaws with it, to not make it a perfect film. The pacing is a big gaping hole in this film. It's slow, and at times boring (not with me),…
This movie deserves a better blu-ray transfer.
I love "castle intrigue" and this movie has lots of it. And its rich with themes of redemption (or in this case not) and loyalty. Plus, samurai swords!
This film was a gender- and race-bending alternate universe fanfic before such things were cool.
Basically, imagine King Lear, but set in feudal Japan, with sons instead of daughters, and with a woman playing the Edmund character.
This is pretty faithful to the King Lear storyline (shame because I was hoping there might be a different ending in store), although it definitely adds a ton of awesomeness in terms of both action (the battle scenes!) and characters (they just seem to have a lot more depth in this retelling. I love Lady Kaede in particular).
I think Shakespeare would approve.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
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