Today is the birthday of legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, who, in a career spanning 5 decades, directed 30 films, one of which is the amazing RAN – his final solo masterpiece which comes back to cinema screens across the country from 1 April in spectacular 4K, celebrating 30 years since its original release.
STUDIOCANAL / Independent Cinema Office (ICO) are proud to announce a nationwide reissue of Akira Kurosawa’s RAN, recently beautifully restored in 4K and 30 years on from its original release in the UK.
The final masterpiece from legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, RAN, which translates as ‘turmoil’, is Kurosawa’s meditation on Shakespeare’s King Lear crossed with the history of Japan’s 16th century Civil Wars and the legend of Morikawa, a feudal warlord with three sons.
Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai – Yojimbo, Kagemusha) an ageing warlord who, after spending his life consolidating his empire, decides to abdicate and divide his kingdom amongst his three sons, Taro (Akira Terao – Letter from the Mountain, Dreams), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu – The Man in White, Red Shadow: Akakage) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryû – Tono monogatari, Gojo reisenki: Gojoe). When Hidetora’s youngest son Saburo voices concerns about the wisdom of his father’s plan, claiming that treachery within the family will be inevitable, Hidetora mistakes these comments for a threat and banishes him. This allows Taro and Jiro to take the reigns of power unopposed, leading to a brutal and bloody struggle to win absolute power.
To commemorate 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death and thirty years on from its original UK theatrical release in 1986, RAN has been meticulously restored in digital 4K by French laboratory Éclair under STUDIOCANAL and Kadokawa Pictures’ supervision. Based on an original negative, the majority of the restoration work has been done manually, image by image. An action-packed historical epic of stylistic grandeur, the new restoration amplifies the film’s visual splendour, seen first in all its glory in 2015 where it screened at Cannes, New York and Toronto Film Festivals.
Majestic in scope, RAN is a profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed and the insatiable thirst for power.
RAN will be back in cinemas from 1st April and then available to own on EST on 25th April and on DVD and Blu-Ray from 2nd May.
The film will also screen as part of the ‘Shakespeare on Film’ retrospective, which runs at the BFI Southbank from 31st March to 31st May.