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Ran (Not Rated)

Japanese with English subtitles

Ran is the twenty-seventh film from director Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, The Seven Samurai). In its epic scale, stylistic grandeur and tragic contemplation of human destiny, it brings together the great themes and gorgeous images of the director's life work. A brilliantly conceived meditation on Shakespeare's King Lear, crossed with the history of Japan's 16th-century Civil Wars and the legend of Mori, a feudal warlord with three sons, the film's title translates as "chaos" or "turmoil." Tatsuya Nakadai stars the Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji, an aging ruler who decides to abdicate and divide his land equally among his three sons, unleashing an intense power struggle as his sons and daughters-in-law scheme for power and revenge. A spectacular adventure punctuated by epic battle scenes, at the time of its original release Ran was the most expensive film ever made in Japan, with a visual splendor that's still breathtaking today.