Ran is Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 historical epic, a colourful and chaotic involving a cast of hundreds in the story of three sons battling for total control of their father’s domain.
Based partly on the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear and the legend of the feudal lord Mori Motonari, Ran has gone down as one of Kurosawa’s masterpieces winning many awards, a lot for categories like make-up, art direction, costume design and so on which makes the prospect of seeing a 4K restoration on the big screen too good to miss.
Release Date: March 19th, 2016
Running Time: 116 mins.
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Writer: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Masato Ide (Screenplay),
Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu, Masayuki Yui, Kazuo Kato, Mieko Harada, Yoshiko Miyazaki,
Synopsis from indepdentcinemaoffice: ‘Ran’ stands for chaos, turmoil or fury in Japanese; all befitting Shakespeare’s vision of a nihilistic world turned upside down and revolting against its natural order; dramatising the pain and rage of ageing and its inevitable loss of control.
Borrowing narrative elements from the legend of Mōri Motonari (a 16th century Japanese warlord) as well as the Shakespearean tragedy, Ran stars Tatsuya Nakadai as the vain, arrogant Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji, who at seventy decides to abdicate and divide his domain amongst his three sons, with catastrophic results.
Spectacularly beautiful, with gorgeous, colour-saturated frames, it is an undoubted masterpiece; the product of a breathtaking artistic vision that works as an historical epic and Shakespearean adaptation as well as a bloody, action-packed war film with a silent central battle scene that must be seen to be believed.
Why is it in UK cinemas? The release coincides with the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, as well as 30 years since the film’s original UK theatrical release in 1986. The list of cinemas screening the film is very large and it seems to cover the entirety of the UK according to independentcinemaoffice.org.uk.
According to Akirakurosawa.info, the new print was scanned from the film’s original negatives and restored frame by frame under the supervision of the film’s original distributors and the colour grading has been approved by Masaharu Ueda, one of the three cinematographers who worked on the original film.
The restoration was screened at Cannes last year and has travelled the world. A UK Blu-ray release has been pencilled in for May 02nd and generous extras will be available:
Akira Kurosawa: The Epic and The Intimate
Akira Kurosawa by Catherine Cadou
Art of the Samurai
Interview with the Director of Photography – Mr Ueda
Interview with Micheal Brooke
Interview with Ms Mieko Harada
Stage appearance at Tokyo International Film Festival 2015
Include set of 4 art cards and booklet