Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Movies V - Ran

The first foreign film I will post about is Arika Kurosawa's Ran. Kurosawa was a Japanese film maker that worked primarily in black and white in the post war years. Ran was made in color in 1985 and is a late work by a producer that was battling depression and thoughts of suicide. It is a dark story, based on Shakespeare's King Lear, and retold as the tale of an elderly Japanese samurai betrayed by his sons.

It is also a sweeping epic, amazing in it's use of color, battle scenes, and sets to tell the story. Kurosawa thought it was his best work, and I agree.


9 comments:

Sdv1949 said...

IT. IS. AWESOME.

Ed Bonderenka said...

So many American movies are based on Kurosawa.
He was the man.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Ran is amazing. I do not know that I would say it is my favorite Kurosawa movie - it is so terribly dark - but it is a visual masterpiece. The use of color is, in my opinion, without equal.

Kurt said...

Pick a movie by Kurosawa - any movie. Well, except perhaps Autumn Dreams.

Other than that, they are all good, and many are magnificent, truly world class.

But, of all his movies my favorite is Ikuru. It makes me cry every time I watch it, and I mean that in the best possible way.

For instance, The Magnificent Seven (Charles Bronson, et al - haven't seen the recent remake, and the sequels are not nearly as good as the orginal), while legitimately a very good, and nearly great movie, was a cheap knockoff of The Seven Samurai, which competed, and for good reason, with first place for best film of all time with Citizen Kane.

Then comes Throne of Blood, Kagemusha, and so many more. What a genius Kurosawa was - there won't be another of his caliber for many moons.

Kurt

drjim said...

I've seen several other Kurosawa movies, but never Ran.

I think I should do something about that....

libertyman said...

I will display my lack of sophistication by stating that I have seen only one movie by Kurosawa in the theater. It was Kagemusha. If that was a great movie, it was lost on me. I could not sit through that again.

Old 1811 said...

I'm not a fan of samurai movies; I don't know why. I didn't even like "The Seven Samurai," and we all know what movie was adapted from that. I'm a Japanese-movie Philistine; my favorite b&w Japanese movie is "Gojira."

Borepatch said...

George Lucas stole half of Star Wars from Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress.

Tom Lindsay said...

Back when the Earth was still cooling, our local PBS station ran classic movies on Sunday afternoons. One day, seen year old me was enduring a rainy afternoon, and came in ten minutes late on an amazing Japanese movie about samurai protecting a town. I fell in love with Kurosawa and Seven Samurai that day.