Movie Information

In Brief: Having tackled Macbeth in 1957 with Throne of Blood, the great Akira Kurosawa took on King Lear toward the end of his life with Ran (1985) — and the results were astonishing. Though his eyesight was failing, he managed to create one of his most visually stunning films with the help of his friend and assistant director Inoshiro Honda (yeah, the same Honda who made the Godzilla movies). While the film offers a reasonable approximation of Shakespeare's play — in Japanese terms, of course — it's hard not to get the sense that the film is as much about the aging and embattled director as it is about Lear. (Unable to get funding at home, he managed to find it via French producer Serge Silberman.) And though it qualifies as an epic in every capacity, it more sits back and observes the battles rather than participate in them. One of the most grisly and striking battles comes at about the one-hour mark and is presented almost completely in silence while somber music floods the soundtrack. Remarkable.
Genre: Action War Drama
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akiro Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu, Mieko Harada, Masayuki Yui
Rated: R

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Ran Friday, Mar. 18 at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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One thought on “Ran

  1. T.rex

    One of the few regrets about being in shows is missing all the great screenings in town. Love this film.

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