Ran ★★★★★

M'colleague Graham Williamson discussed Ran in the latest, excellent Short Cuts vlog, which compelled me to check it out.

All I can say is wow. King Lear has never really been a favourite Shakespeare of mine, but Kurosawa (an auteur whose work is, I must admit beyond the couple of standards that everyone has seen, a bit of a shameful blindspot for me) really makes his adaptation something special. Peter O'Toole had badgered Kurosawa to adapt King Lear way back in the 1960s, but there's something fitting about the filmmaker waiting until old age to tackle it, much like the actors who take on the role for themselves.

The scenes in which Hidetora stumbles in catatonic stupor through the siege of the Third Castle, untouched by the battle raging around him and set solely to Toru Takemitsu's score is sheer cinematic poetry and surely a highlight of 1980s cinema.

Graham, thank you.

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