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DFI Cinema

Akira Kurosawa / Feature Narrative / Japan, France / 1985 / 162 min / Colour / DCP4K
In Japanese / Arabic, English subtitles
Interests: Action, Drama, Period Piece
Rated: Parental guidance advised for viewers under the age of 15. Individuals under the age of 15 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or over.



In a decades-long career marked by a series of celebrated epic films, ‘Ran’ is generally considered to be director Akira Kurosawa’s crowning achievement – indeed, when asked to name his own best film, or so the story goes, Kurosawa’s response was invariably “my next one” – until, that is, he had made ‘Ran’. Vast in scope and profound in its consideration of greed, chaos and human folly – unsurprising, given that the screenplay is broadly inspired by ‘King Lear’, William Shakespeare’s master tragedy – ‘Ran’ is the story of the tyrant warlord Hidetora and the deterioration of his kingdom after he decides to hand power over to his sons.
While Kurosawa preferred to make little use of music in his films, when he did use it the results were striking. ‘Ran’ provides a particularly electrifying example during its great battle sequence, when Kurosawa chooses to silence the ambient sound, leaving only composer Tôru Takemitsu’s music to accompany the visuals. The screen is consumed with rivers of blood, showers of arrows, and dead and dying soldiers; backed by Takemitsu’s sweeping Romantic score, this heart-rending depiction of the madness of war is elevated to a sort of magnificent horror.

About the Director

A giant of filmmaking, Japanese director Akira Kurosawa first gained critical acclaim with ‘Drunken Angel’ (1948), which confirmed him as one of the most important young directors in Japan. In 1950, his ‘Rashomon’ won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, opening the Western market to Japanese cinema. Kurosawa went on to direct numerous significant and influential films, including ‘Seven Samurai’ (1954), ‘Throne of Blood’ (1957), ‘The Bodyguard’ (1961), ‘The Shadow Warrior’ (1980) and the immensely popular ‘Ran’ (1985). Kurosawa died in 1998.


Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Masato Ide
Masato Hara, Serge Silberman
Akira Kurosawa
Associate Producer
Hisao Kurosawa
Production Designer
Shinobu Muraki, Yoshirô Muraki
Executive Producer
Katsumi Furukawa
Tôru Takemitsu
Tôru Takemitsu
Asakazu Nakia, Takao Saitô, Shôji Ueda
Sales Company
Tamasa Distribution
Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû, Mieko Harada

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