Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 99: Fri Apr 8

Ran (Kurosawa, 1985): BFI Southbank, Studio 6pm


The newly restored Akira Kurosawa classic Ran is on an extended run at BFI Southbank from April 1st. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Akira Kurosawa's 1985 film is slightly marred by some too obvious straining toward masterpiece status, yet it's a stunning achievement in epic cinema. Working on a large scale seems to bring out the best in Kurosawa's essentially formal talents; Kagemushaseems only a rough draft for the effects he achieves here through a massive deployment of movement and color. Both landscape and weather seem to bend to his will as he constructs an imaginary 16th-century Japan out of various locations throughout the islands, which seems to re-form itself to reflect the characters' surging passions as the violent tale progresses. It's loosely adapted from King Lear: an aging warlord (Tatsuya Nakadai, in a performance that approaches a Kabuki stylization) decides to step down as the head of his clan, which unleashes a power struggle among his three sons. As in Kagemusha, Kurosawa envisions the only alternative to rigid oppression as apocalyptic chaos, yet the bleak proposal is put with infinitely more immediacy and personal involvement.
Dave KehrHere (and above) is the trailer.

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