Ran

1985 Kurosawa samurai

Rating: 18/20 (Abbey: 1/20)

Plot: see King Lear. . .or, samurai try to survive in 16th century Japan after a nuclear holocaust. . .or, two of three sons (the two dumbasses) betray their father in an attempt to have the best picnic locations in all of Japan. They fight over robes and decide in the end to put a stop to the madness (the "chaos" in the title) like all real men put a stop to madness--an epic masturbation contest!

Surprise surprise! Another masterpiece from the greatest director who ever lived. I can't imagine the care and time taken to paint this epic. Such a striking use of color and both natural (i.e. rolling hills) and man-made (i.e. burning castles) imagery. The scene with the biggest chunk of violence completely captivated me, a scene with almost no sound, startling images (men holding their own severed arms, lots of blood and arrows), and no extraneous effects. It is a little disarming getting a glimpse into the director's old age worldviews and ideas about life, an apathetic God, lost humanity--ideas so depressing, cynical, almost hopeless. Absolutely stunning stuff.

Here's a still from the controversial "Masturbation Contest" scene:



And here I am with Abbey. She watched about an hour of this with me, asking me what the subtitles said when she couldn't catch all the words. When asked what she would rate it, she said she'd give it a 1 out of 20. I asked her why and she said, "I'd give it a one because it was stupid."

2 comments:

cory said...

An all-time great epic foreign film. Even better than Mel Gibson. Abbey was the perfect age to appreciate it. Will you split up your kingdom among your three children? Until "M" came along, this may have been my favorite foreign film. A 19.

Shane said...

Ahh...a blast from the past! This was back when Abbey was a little more critical, I see. And I made myself laugh with that picture from the epic masturbation contest. God, I'm freakin' hilarious!