Japanese posters for Akira Kurosawa’s Ran, courtesy of kurosawa-akira. Ran was Kurosawa’s last epic. With a budget of $12 million, it was the most expensive Japanese film ever produced up to that time. Here’s the original press kit and other documents for your reading and learning pleasure.
Chris Marker’s documentary A.K. (1985) is an epic — a portrait of Kurosawa during the making of his most ambitious and expensive picture. You see the Sensei director in front of JCBs, great earth-moving machines… You see massive sets, hundreds of extras, the Plains of Gotenba…
In 2005, the Criterion Collection went interviewing director Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Network…) about Akira Kurosawa’s Ran (1985) — as the film was getting released on video at that time. In these 12-min long interview, the American director shares some insightful comments, whether it’s on the film — pointing out subtle details, giving us the perfect opportunity to re-watch it — or, on Akira Kurosawa himself — Lumet did meet the Japanese filmmaker, saying he’s “the Beethoven of movie directors.”
Among other things, Lumet talks about the visual style of Kurosawa, how he didn’t use close-ups on Ran, how the movie looks like a painting, ow he directed actors to get something surrealist, over-the-top. Lumet also notices the western sounds of the score, explaining the “western orientation of Kurosawa’s work,” only to conclude on the main (and dark) themes of the film. —Wildgrounds
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