Ran (1985) - film adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Adapted from Shakespeare’s

King Lear

. Directed by Akira Kurosawa (1985). Starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû, Mieko Harada. Japanese with English subtitles. Colour. 155 minutes.

Kurosawa’s Ran (‘chaos, rebellion’) is a freer adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear than his 1958 film Throne of Blood was of Macbeth. As with the earlier film, Kurosawa wrote his own dialogue (though here the script more frequently and clearly resonates with echoes of Shakespearean lines) and set the action in a Japanese context. Once again he references Noh theatre through make-up and the Kyogen-derived gestures and language of the Fool character, Kyoami. Ran also consistently uses long-shots to establish the detached gaze which so effectively conveys the director’s

1074 words

Citation: Fraser, Duncan. "Ran (1985) - film adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 September 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19392, accessed 12 June 2024.]

19392 Ran (1985) - film adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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