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Thursday, July 08, 2004

RAN

a film i bought when Mater and i went to the Tate Modern yesterday (and as such had to negotiate the weirdest place on earth-the south Bank, filled with didgeridoo players and people on bicycles made to resemble prams or racecars, and lots of white people with dreadlocks and pointy goatees. i shudderd in horror as i realised these were ART PEOPLE!!!)

Ran was made in 1985 by acclaimed japanese Director Akira Kurosawa, like a lot of Kurosawa flicks it borrows from western culture (the plot is a slight reworking of King Lear) but at the same time it is VERY Japanese in a brilliant way.

For those of you (and there's bound to be a few uneducated dolts out there :P KIDDING KIDDING!!! ) who don't know King Lear/Ran here's the basic plot

word of the day

Daimyo: Japanese Lord

An old King/Daimyo decides it is time to retire and devides his power between his three daughters/sons, the eldest two launch into great flowery speeches over who loves/respects him the most, while the third daughter/son simply scoffs and claims the plan to be foolish, the other two siblings will only betray him. Which of course they do, at this point the plots deviate slighty but with the same end result. The daimyo find himself unwelcome at the castles of his two elder sons, who are busy competing for command of his kingdom, so he moves the third castle, deserted as his youngest son has been banished for his insolence.
he wakes up next morning to find his sons armies merrily slaughtering his personal guard in true japanese fashion (for some reason i've never figured out, the japanese seem to have about ten times more blood in them than any other ethinc group, and it seems to take about twenty arrows to kill any of them) interestingly parts of this scene also make up the opening FMV to Shogun Total War.
The Kings Keep is burnt down and in a truly magnificent piece of cinema, the dazed Daimyo staggers down the steps as the two armies part before him, with the keep burning down in the backgorund (it Really was burning too, they could only afford one take!) he's gone mad and wanders the plains tortured by all the evil he commited in order to rise to power. His third son (the only one who was truly loyal) arrives to resuce his mad father and the armies of the other two sons are crushed by neighbouring Daimyos with the assistance of a scheming lady, whose family were murdered by the Daimyo some years before.

however this film is based on a shakespeare tragedy so it can't end there, the third son is killed by a stray musket ball just as he rescues his father and they console their differences, the Daimyo dies of grief.

Seeing as it's based on a shakespeare play, this film is very very wordy, combined with the fact that it's subtitled means REALLY having to pay attention, something my fragile mind had trouble with last night, (we got home late, the trains were all delayed due to leaves on the line or the wrong kind of snow or somesuch) however, the action sequences are exquisite and the truly epic scale of the film is mind boggling. Addmitedly it leaves something to be desired when compared to films of a similar ilk produced today but so does the Alamo or Waterloo, Ran remains a key point in cinema history which doubtless influenced many a potential filmaker, myself included

Todays T-shirt: If you could say everything with words there'd be no need to Paint

Todays music:Franz Ferdinand- Shopping for Blood

# posted by The Prisoner | 10:14 AM |

Y'know i'm born to lose, and gamblings for fools, but thats the way i like it baby i dont wanna live for eva.....and don't forget the joker!.........Daddy.......Do you call me daddy cos im old? do you call me baby cos im young? and i could be the one, who gets to take you home. Honey.....do you call me honey cos im sweet? sweet like the sugar in my tea, and i take more than three, and thats what makes me sweet. and i would like to say today it would be nice to run away, monday to thursday every week, we can see what we can be. and you wont serve another drink to lonely men who think they own a piece of you, they snap their fingers, tell you what to do. and they would like to take you home, well i guess their not alone.....................This aint murdermile its just the way i smile. Kiss all your fingers, whats that for? You'll never get to heaven with your shirt all torn..........Not a prisoner, i'm a free man, and my blood is my own now, dont care where the past was, i know where i'm going!......On Iron Horse he flies, on iron horse he'd gladly die.....Change, everything you are and everything you were, youre number has been called, fights battles have begun revenge will surely come, your hard times are ahead.......We're all living in amerika, amerika ist wunderbar......FUCK YOU I WONT DO WHAT YA TELL ME......Sandy why can't we look the other way?......Where's my Elvis?.....Don't try rules cos they do not apply.....She got me with a suckerpunch.....
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