Ran (乱, transl. "chaos" or "turmoil") is a 1985 action drama film directed, edited and co-written by Akira Kurosawa. The plot derives from William Shakespeare's King Lear and includes segments based on legends of the daimyō Mōri Motonari. The film stars Tatsuya Nakadai as Hidetora Ichimonji, an aging Sengoku-period warlord who decides to abdicate as ruler in favor of his three sons.
The film is a Japanese-French venture produced by Herald Ace, Nippon Herald Films and Greenwich Film Productions. Production planning went through a long period of preparation. Kurosawa conceived the idea of Ran in the mid-1970s, when he read about Motonari, who was famous for having three highly loyal sons. Kurosawa devised a plot in which the sons become antagonists of their father. Although the film became heavily inspired by Shakespeare's play King Lear, Kurosawa began using it only after he had started pre-planning for Ran. Following this pre-planning, Kurosawa filmed Dersu Uzala in 1975 followed by Kagemusha in the early 1980s before securing financial backing to film Ran.
Ran was Kurosawa's second encounter with Shakespeare during his filmmaking career. In 1957, Kurosawa directed Throne of Blood (蜘蛛巣城, Kumonosu-jō, "Spider Web Castle") based on Shakespeare's Macbeth. Despite the changes in setting and language, both Ran and Throne of Blood received critical acclaim.
As Kurosawa's last epic, Ran has often been cited as among his finest achievements and is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. With a budget of $11 million, it was the most expensive Japanese film produced up to that time. Ran was previewed on May 31, 1985, at the Tokyo International Film Festival before its release on June 1, 1985, in Japan. The film was hailed for its powerful images and use of color–costume designer Emi Wada won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work on Ran. The distinctive Gustav Mahler–inspired film score was composed by Toru Takemitsu. (Source Wikipedia)
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