This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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.
Kurosawa took Shakespeare's play and mixed it wiuth the samurai genre to create a…
A.V. Club review. Pretty sure this was the first foreign-language film I ever saw in a theater, during its original theatrical run. Quite the introduction. (Also, I've now been doing this job so long that I've professionally reviewed Ran for two separate re-releases, 16 years apart.)
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…
Kurosawa's stab at King Lear, and grand tragedy it is too. Lots of running backwards and forwards and internecine battles as the terrible decision of the old king to split his kingdom becomes more and more clear.Battles are well staged and the stakes keep getting higher, to the point that you don't notice that there is nothing left of this kingdom, just armies constantly fighting. Terrifically bold stuff, raw cinema by a great director.
Full disclosure, I watched the recent 4K restoration so an already incredible looking film is now off the charts sumptuous.
It's epic storytelling on a scale that boggles the mind. There's a "war is hell" sequence that's approaching perfect.
Ashamed it's taken me this long to watch it. So so glad I did.
The Gods can't save us from ourselves. Akira Kurosawa's bleak epic is a Shakespearean tragedy about violence begetting violence begetting violence. Ran tells the story of three sons who become embroiled in a bloody battle for power. However, the movie's focus is predominantly on the family's patriarch who is driven mad as he watches his sons' war escalate and he is haunted by the memories of lives he destroyed in his own ascendancy. The conflicts themselves are spectacular using extreme wide shots and hundreds of extras to demonstrate the power of the big screen (Kurosawa tips his hat to David Lean's Lawrence Of Arabia during these sequences), but equally thrilling is the talky political manoeuvring that happens in private which Kurosawa captures in hauntingly still medium shots.
There is no film greater than Ran, IMO. After rewatching it in full, I can fully grasp the ideas that Akira Kurosawa has conducted. Jesus Christ, I can go on rambling about this film for hours. Long story short: the greatest film ever made.
I am filled with contradictions. My mood is severe, dour. Yet I keep reflecting on the beauty of the composition and metaphor of the images throughout Ran. I was highly engaged during most of the film, but I can’t say that I was entertained. I was lost in whether there was a character I was supposed to be “rooting for”, and now puzzle over the fact that the answer may be no one - what does that say about life?
The wonderful Ambler Theater showed a digital restoration of this film tonight as part of their Shakespeare 400 series. Kurosawa is a director I am aware of to such a degree, I sometimes forget if I’ve seen the film or…
Have you ever seen a film so perfect that it makes you reevaluate your definition of what a perfect film is? That's Ran for you.
See this beautiful film In 4k before it's too late: www.rialtopictures.com/ran.html
I have no clue
Costume drama, very Japanese.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…