Transposing King Lear to feudal Japan, Akira Kurosawa delivers this visual feast of Shakespeare, Noh theater, and action epics. Warlord Hidetora (Tatsuya Nakadai) unwisely divides his kingdom, spurning his plainspoken youngest son in favor of his two older ones. Ran (”chaos”) ensues. The director’s most ingenious creation is Mieko Harada’s white-faced black widow, Lady Kaede: In the midst of a bogus crying jag, she pauses to squash a bug. As for extras, scholar Stephen Prince’s gold-standard commentary displays a breadth of knowledge (reaching such esoterica as samurai-naming methods) that dwarfs the two making-ofs and a new interview with Nakadai, who suffered each day through four hours of makeup.
Genre: Foreign Language, Drama, Historical; Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Mieko Harada; Director: Akira Kurosawa; Author: Masato Ide, Hisami Kuroiwa, Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, William Shakespeare; Runtime (in minutes): 160; Distributor: Fox Lorber
Posted November 18 2005 — 12:00 AM EST
- 'Adventures in Babysitting': Watch the exclusive first trailer for Disney's '80s revival
- Oscars Secret Ballot: Industry insiders reveal their votes
- 'American Idol': See why Fantasia & La'Porsha got a standing ovation
- Watch Melissa McCarthy start a Girl Scout war in NSFW trailer for 'The Boss'
- 'X-Files' first look: The Lone Gunmen return!
- '11.22.63': James Franco says playing a time-traveler is 'discombobulating'
- TV Jukebox: 6 songs to remember from TV this week