Ran

One of the late masterpieces of Japanese master Kurosawa’s long and distinguished career, Ran was inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear and the legend of daimyo (lord) Mori Motonari. Tatsuya Nakadai plays Hidetora Ichimonji, an aging warrior-lord who decides to abdicate in favor of his three sons, Taro, Jiro, and Saburo. His youngest son Saburo declares that Hidetora is foolish to believe that the three brothers will remain loyal to Hidetora’s wishes once they are in power and finds himself banished for his candor. His words, however, soon prove only too true, as Taro and Jiro conspire to strip their father of his title, his riches, and his army. Featuring Academy Award-winning costumes by Emi Wada and an evocative score by Toru Takemitsu, Kurosawa’s epic tale of greed and revenge remains one of the most highly regarded films in cinema. “Truly soul-shattering when experienced on the big screen.”—Mike D’Angelo, The A.V. Club. (Japanese with English subtitles)

The A.V. Club‘s Mike D’Angelo on the re-release of Ran.

The Village Voice‘s Simon Abrams on Ran in the context of the 2016 election season.

Genres: Drama, War

Other Films by Akira Kurosawa

DVD-Blast-Throne-of-Blood

Throne of Blood

One of the most enduring cinematic “twists on Shakespeare” is Akira Kurosawa’s take on Macbeth, which relocates the play to 15th century feudal Japan. Two warriors returning from battle encounter an eerie spirit in the forest who promises them great fortune upon their return. Spurred on by the spirit’s prophecy—and the power-hungry manipulations of his

Takashi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune in Akira Kurosawa's STRAY DOG (1949). Courtesy Janus Films. Playing 1/6-1/14.

Stray Dog

Kurosawa’s neorealist, post-war tale of urban malaise follows homicide detective Murakami (Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune) during a sweltering heat wave in which he has his gun stolen on a crowded bus. Riddled with shame and guilt, Murakami sets out on an odyssey to recover the weapon, encountering a wide array of unique individuals as he