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Directed by Chris Marker

France, Japan 1985 75 mins.

Marker’s (La Jetee, Sans Soleil) hyper-observational style is on full display in A.K. as he skirts around Akira Kurosawa’s legendary, massively scaled production of Ran (1985), focusing on the master’s previous classics and the day-to-day making of his new film, which at the time was the most expensive Japanese film ever made. French producer Serge Silberman, bankrolling Ran, commissioned Marker to capture the mood and spirit of the production from the sidelines. Foregoing interviews seemingly out of necessity, Marker makes a virtue out of that nothingness, and creates one of cinema’s most sensory making-of pictures, his searching frames densely populated with hundreds of Kurosawa’s actors, extras, and crew as they are orchestrated with great precision by the master, Kurosawa, who appears at the eye of a storm of which only he can see the full shape. (Japanese and French with English subtitles)