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Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Japan 1980 180 mins. In Japanese

Late in his career, master director Kurosawa turned to vivid color cinematography and a particularly procedural kind of historical epic, making some of the grandest (and most expensive) films in Japanese film history. Kagemusha—coming in the middle of a long stretch of masterpieces like Dodes’ka-den and Ran—concerns the dying warlord Shingen (Kurosawa regular Tatsuya Nakadai) who wants to hold power even after his death, employing a petty thief who happens to be his doppelgänger. Confusion reigns as competing warlords seek advantage to control vast swaths of Japanese society in the Sengoku (roughly 16th century) period. A tumultuous production from the beginning all the way through to its editing stage, Kagemusha is nonetheless one of Kurosawa’s most sublimely beautiful films, featuring a series of  stunning set pieces. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Genres: jidaigeki

Appears in: 2018 on Celluloid