Ran ★★★★★

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 meaning. It was made at a time where Kurosawa could no longer get funding for his films in his own country. He was regarded as too Western and old fashioned to back his movies. It took 10 years for him to finally make this film. During those years, even though he thought the movie would never be made, he would still work on the script and storyboard the entire film. He was 75 years old and beginning to loose his eye sight when production finally began. His wife of 39 years passed away during production. To say that making this film was a struggle might be an understatement.

Now the one thing I really hate about Akira Kurosawa is the more of his movies I watch, the more it becomes impossible to have a single favorite Kurosawa film.

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