30 Years of Film on SBS: Ran
1985 was a year of fantasy and youthful vigour in Hollywood.
It was a season of films for the young and the selection now looks bountiful. At the same time, in Japan, a master was preparing for the end.
Akira Kurosawa was in his mid seventies by the time Ran was released and there is little doubt that he identified with the film’s central character, Tatsuya Nakadei’s Hidetora Ichimonji, an ageing feudal lord.
Kurosawa would subsequently make three more films in the early 1990s, before he died in 1998 at the age of 88, but it is Ran that remains the final major achievement of his career. “Sound the horn or become the quarry,” a general advises a young ruler, but Kurosawa’s tragic spectacle shows that no matter what you do some fates are already sealed.