Transcript: Ran (1985)
Transcript of 70mm’s Ran (1985) Episode.
SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday I sit down to talk about recently watched movies with dear friend and artist Danny Haas.
DANNY Her final look where she gets her head cut off, that patterned robe thing she’s wearing, I want to wear that right now.
SLIM And our spiritual advisor, Protolexus.
PROTO You know, how trippy would it be for a boar — like all the boar knows, right, is that they’re getting chased, but they’re looking back and they’re seeing a horse, but they’re seeing another creature on top of a horse.
SLIM Later in this episode, we’re talking about what is widely considered Akira Kurosawa’s greatest film, Ran, from 1984. Is that a true statement? Or were we too slimfluenced ahead of time? Let’s find out… now.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM I have a topic that I want to get into that I didn’t think was gonna happen.
SLIM When we recorded last–it’s been two weeks since we recorded and I thought a journey was ending. But the journey is actually continuing. Proto is continuing his Marvel Cinematic Universe journey.
DANNY Oh gosh.
SLIM Can we get some answers? Please?
DANNY Let’s talk about it.
SLIM I thought this was over.
PROTO We need answers. And we need them now. Let’s see. What did I watch? Oh, yeah. So we just kept going. Me and my boy, my son, Theo. I watched, we watched Captain America. We watched Thor and we watched the Avengers.
DANNY My gosh!
SLIM What a week.
PROTO You know, people take dumps on these movies. But I was pleasantly surprised that they were better than what the mainstream will tell you. So I gave Captain America three stars.
DANNY Thank you.
PROTO I gave Thor three stars. And I even gave the Avengers two stars! [Slim laughs]
DANNY That’s way too high.
PROTO Um, so yeah, I’m continuing on this journey. I mean, Avengers was pretty rough. It’s a pretty rough movie to get through. I mean, RDJ is already unbearable. [Danny laughs] To think that there’s another like 15 movies of him or whatever. I mean, and then Chris Evans is just a downward spiral. Like Captain America, he’s okay, but this, is just he’s chewing the scenery.
SLIM He looks a little goofy in the Cap suit in that movie looking back.
PROTO He looks awful! The Cap suit looks so silly! Like can we not? Can we not? [Slim laughs]
DANNY With you.
SLIM The alien invasion stuff, if I remember correctly, was pretty cool, though. Still, when I last rewatched it.
PROTO Yeah, I mean, that’s the best scene of the movie. And it’s also the best scene because you get, you get Hulk Smash. The Hulk stuff is is worth the price of admission, honestly. And I was aghast because I’m on record as saying, I don’t really care for Mark Ruffalo as an actor. But maybe now, you know, I’m a different man now.
SLIM You’re coming around?
PROTO I really, I liked him in this. I think he probably gave the most grounded performance in this. So I was pleasantly surprised by Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk.
DANNY Proud of you.
PROTO So yeah, the journey continues. I’m not really sure which ones I’m gonna watch. Because, you know, I I’m not gonna watch like Guardians with him. So I’m not sure how I’m going to navigate through —
SLIM Guardians too PG 13-ish?
PROTO Yeah, from what I remember. That’s a pretty rough movie in terms of just like violence and whatnot. They were asking to watch Spider-Man.
PROTO But, which Spider-Man do I watch?
DANNY Well, you hate Andrew Garfield, so.
SLIM You gotta start, start in order. You gotta go Tobey.
PROTO But then they might be like, what is this? You know, he’s not in the, you know, the Avengers movies, because that’s what he’s really after. He’s really fascinated with the Avengers. So I think if I watched the Tobey one’s, he will be kind of confused as to like, why it’s a different Spider-Man.
DANNY You might as well just jump to Tom Holland at this point.
SLIM If you continue the journey you’ll get to him, though, in Civil War.
PROTO Yeah, we’ll get to him in 2025. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM A lot of people in chat pointing out Spider-verse, correctly, which is probably the right route.
PROTO I think we’ve watched Spider-verse though.
DANNY I think he’s seen it. You’ve talked about it. People who have listened to the show would know. [Slim & Proto laugh]
SLIM I didn’t deserve that. Saying that right now.
PROTO I mean, the thing I’m most upset about honestly is that this is just, it’s totally botching my Letterboxd stats right off the bat. [Danny & Slim laugh] It’s already ruined.
SLIM Samuel L. Jackson is gonna be your number one actor at the end of the year.
DANNY Oh no. Maybe just stop logging them.
PROTO That’s a good idea.
DANNY Then Slim won’t bring them up. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Boy, what a week for you. The Avengers. There was something else in there, La La Land.
DANNY Wait, what?
SLIM Yeah, you watched La La Land.
PROTO Not really, I watched the last half hour. I was at my in-laws. Motion smoothing was on. I caught it the last half hour of it. And yeah, I just said in my review, you know, Ryan Gosling, you know, as a white man. I think I said as a sad white boy, really connect with the energy that Ryan Gosling brings to the table. [Danny laughs] You might not be able to relate unless you fall into that category, but there’s just something about him and what he does that I really appreciate. And I love Damien Chazelle. Like he’s one of my favorite directors. So I’d be curious to rewatch that whole movie at some point.
SLIM First Man episode when?
DANNY Oh, my god.
PROTO We’ve come close.
SLIM Would you guys even be able to contain yourself during that episode?
DANNY No, no, no, no, no.
SLIM The groaning alone.
PROTO A grown up.
SLIM We have a bunch of new friends on Patreon and say hello to. You can join at patreon.com/70mm. Go to 70mmpod.com. Get access to 23 episodes in the vault right now. Goblet of Fire was just added.
SLIM And Proto went hord on Goblet of Fire. You get uncut episodes and you get access to the VHS Village as well. Thomas, Lucas, John, Nicholas, Liam, Austin, Ken, Cody, Andy, Jake, Alex, Brandon, Riley, Jeff and Josh are all joined.
DANNY My gosh!
SLIM Since our last episode.
SLIM Welcome. Remember that Phantasm episode we dropped last week? The big Batman news. The big Batman. Road to The Batman. We’re gonna be doing Batman Begins in just a few short weeks. You still boiling after that news, Danny?
DANNY I’m excited. I’m still excited.
SLIM Boiling. I haven’t seen Dark Knight Rises in a long time.
DANNY I’m very excited for that episode. Not gonna lie. [Slim laughs] Biting my lip right now.
SLIM A lot of people defend that movie that I know. One of them might be on this call right now on this podcast. Dark Knight Rises defender. So if you didn’t listen that episode, we’re also gonna be doing The Batman, when that comes out. Very excited for that. Just breaking news, that movie’s four hours long. Just dropped. [Danny & Proto laugh] Danny, did you watch anything this week?
DANNY I watched two movies. One was in theater before I went on hiatus. I saw The Tragedy of Macbeth. And it’s, it’s pretty incredible. I really love that film. It’s insanely gorgeous, alone, outside of the performances that are in it. I really couldn’t get enough of it. It’s actually very hard to follow. Because I don’t, I realized how little of the Macbeth story that I knew. But then also, it’s in the Shakespearean text, as well. So it’s, if you’re not ready for it. I mean, I would, I would love to have had some subtitles, just to be able to read while I watched. But Denzel’s performance in it is pretty amazing. And to watch him do monologues in the Shakespearean text, and it’s incredible. He does a great job. And visually this movie, it just like checked on my boxes. I couldn’t get enough of it. I thought it was gonna be along the lines of The Lighthouse and how much I love that black and white, but it’s way different. It’s better. There’s just like these. I don’t know how to even know how to explain it. There’s just so many crisp, beautiful shots, very high contrast starred moments and it’s just, it’s gorgeous. It really is gorgeous film. And I’m excited to — I’m definitely gonna watch it again with subtitles, because I really want to, you know, get into it more but it’s a beautiful movie.
SLIM Proto, did you see this?
PROTO I did. I watched it as well. I gave it three stars. I just I think I really realized while watching it is that I don’t love like these direct adaptations of Shakespeare to film. Because like you’re saying, it is hard to follow just in the original texts, you know whether, yeah, I mean, I turn the subtitles on, and it’s still because there’s so much meat in the text, it’s hard to even grasp all of it. It is gorgeous. But I just struggled with the story itself. And honestly, I mean, it’s very pretty, but I just Yeah, I was just kind of like bored with some of it at certain parts. I mean, some of it is very cool, the way they just do the storytelling. Pretty incredible. Especially the stuff with the witches early on, like that was really cool. Yeah, the choices they make. But I also like, I just don’t have enough experience with theater acting. Where to me, I’m watching Denzel and I can’t, I had like a Will Smith Muhammad Ali moment, where I can’t tell if he’s, uh, if this is great acting or it’s not good. So I wasn’t really sure how to feel about it. But I think that’s just like me not being familiar with like this style of acting. But I still enjoy. I think, yeah, I mean, if you look at what like these, you know, stills from the movie, and it’s compelling. I think it’s definitely worth watching just because it’s really beautiful.
DANNY Yeah, it’s nice to not also to be able to compare it to anything else. It’s nice to watch it and be like this feels original. And, you know, something unique that we haven’t seen 1000 times in cinema.
SLIM What kind of snacks do you and get Casey get at the movie theater?
DANNY Well, I don’t think we got any at this one. But my go-to is popcorn and Cherry Coke.
SLIM Cherry Coke.
DANNY And the other movie I watched, sorry, I’ll be quick. I reluctantly put on Dear Evan Hanson. I was on a flight, transatlantic. And I had time on my hands. So I figured why not? And it’s not good. And I like, I really love the music. I’ve listened to the album quite a bit. I’ve never gotten to see the actual show. I mean, I know the story. And I think in my Letterboxd review, I said anytime Ben is singing It’s the best part of the movie, but it’s still a bad movie. It’s just, it’s exactly what you think it’s gonna be.
SLIM A lot of bad vibes on that movie. Negative vibes.
DANNY Yeah. As a film itself, it’s just, it’s like very poorly made, I think. Especially when — I don’t know. It’s rough. And it’s hard to watch. It’s just hard to watch a movie. Nevermind, I won’t get into spoilers. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Sorry, Paul posted a photo of Danny watching Dear Evan Hanson from Starship Troopers. Which by the way, I was on the Dune Pod podcast talking about Starship Troopers. That was a movie I watched recently. So if you’re interested in my deep thoughts on the genius, that is Paul Verhoeven, by all means, check out that podcast. But Proto was just on it as well. I was, yeah, for The Thin Red Line.
PROTO Yeah, I got to pick a movie, finally, they released me from the books. That was part of the contractual agreement. If I did all the books, I’d get to pick a movie on the show. So I picked The Thin Red Line, which is a Terrence Malick —
SLIM Ya boi.
PROTO Yeah, my boy. I haven’t you know, and I just, I have a love hate relationship with Terrence Malick. The show was great. I didn’t love the movie. I’ll be honest. There’s a lot that Terrence Malick does that kind of drives me crazy. And it’s kind of compounded in The Thin Red Line. So I don’t think Haitch was happy with the way I went. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM The Thin ‘Meh’ Line.
PROTO Exactly. But it was great to be on there. You know, talking movies only on Dune Pod.
SLIM The ol’ Dune Pod. Remember Episode 91 on this podcast? Changed everything. Don’t look it up.
PROTO Where were you?
SLIM Trust me.
DANNY Don’t look it up, please. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Every week, we give away a free year of Letterboxd Pro, gets you stats at the end of the year, gets rid of ads, become a paying member of Letterboxd. Disclaimer, I gotta add a disclaimer. Now we gotta talk about this. Disclaimer, I’m a Letterboxd employee. I work for Letterboxd. So we should think about this. But if you share the show on social media, you get a free year Letterboxd Pro. And this week’s winner is avatarman888. ‘Best podcast out there. Discovered 70mm last summer and have fully caught up. Cannot wait to delve into the Nolan trilogy ahead of The Batman. Fire art by @artofdanny.’
DANNY No pressure.
SLIM Paul. [Slim & Danny & Proto laugh] I also want to talk about this too. I really want us to do a bonus episode of a David Copperfield special. [Slim laughs] Can you imagine it? I just think he’s — [Slim & Danny laugh]
DANNY Isn’t there a Copperfield movie with Dev?
SLIM Different Copperfield. [Slim laughs]
PROTO Which one would we do? The one where he sends himself into space in a refrigerator and shows up in Pamela Anderson’s kitchen?
SLIM That’s not David Copperfield! That’s David Blaine, isn’t it?
PROTO They’re all the same.
SLIM Oh my god, we got to watch the one where David Copperfield learns flight, and he flies on stage. Maybe we should do that as a bonus ep for maybe a 15 minute episode, it’s on YouTube.
DANNY That’s the next Intern watch-along.
SLIM Oh my God! That would be amazing. Oh, that’s a good idea. Let’s see, do I want to talk about anything? I bought the 4k of Akira. There was a limited edition a while ago that I did not get it was a little pricier. So the full mainstream edish I grabbed and popped that in today. And I know our dear friends at the Cinenauts have done an episode on Akira. So I won’t delve too much into it. But I couldn’t tell a big difference from the blu-ray, personally. It looked great.
DANNY The quality of the animation.
SLIM Yeah, I mean, the animation is already amazing. The music is still fantastic. The ending, I love Akira. I and I don’t know how much of that is nostalgia fog when I was a kid. You know, when you’re a kid in the 90s and you watch Akira for the first time. It’s like you’re looking into another universe. You don’t know what’s possible. Like if you’ve never seen an anime, and you’re not familiar with manga, you’re like I can’t believe what I’m seeing is real. You’re seeing violence in animation. It’s like an R-rated Disney Renaissance movie. Right? Proto, when was the last time you watched Akira?
PROTO I don’t know. I have it the DVD. But I have like no memory of watching it. So that’s how much it stayed with me.
DANNY Wow. It’s time.
SLIM Much recommend. Is there anything else that we want to cover? I think that might be it. The end of this episode, we have something big coming next week. I’m not gonna say what it is. But next week, you know, we’re getting into February. We’re getting into the month for lovers. Okay? We’ll get into that the episode. [music from Ran plays] Proto, are you ready for Ran?
PROTO Hidetora Ichimonji has spent his life conquering his realm through war. Now in old age, he seeks to pass on his power to Taro, his eldest of three sons. Resigning to the title of great lord, Hidetora plans to live out the rest of his days in transit between the castles of his children. But having sown chaos and death for a lifetime, his plans are dashed as mistrust division and revenge bear fruit and his once great kingdom falls to ruin. Ran.
SLIM Proto, how did it feel firing up this steelbook? You have the steelbook, this was your pick. You were finally after all this time able to pop this bad boy in.
PROTO Yeah, this has been a long time coming you know, started watching Kurosawa movies and was really interested in watching this one eventually just because it’s in color you know and it’s at the end of his career and just seeing you know being able to compare that to something like Seven Samurai or you know, Throne of Blood or whatever. Yeah, and so I have the 4K disc and I put it on. I was actually surprised. I thought it would have been, I was expecting like a much more vivid vibrant movie or just like transfer or look of this, but I actually found it very, like much more muted the colors than I was expecting and much like lighter. As if like the contrast was very low or something, like it just had like a not like not grainy, but almost like some kind of aged look. I don’t even know what though. I don’t know. How would you guys describe it?
SLIM Yeah, it’s funny you say that because I watched this on Apple TV, grabbed the 4k. And I don’t know, it’s hard to describe it and will not have it come off as a slight. But like this didn’t feel like a 4k movie. Like it just felt like, and I’ll get into one of my top three, but like the usage of color is very different than what I was expecting. And that was the 4k highlight for me. Like, it’s not like this insane detail when you’re close to the actors. And it’s not like you can make out this and that 100 yards away. It’s almost like it’s too grand in view, to just like, talk about how I would normally say, oh, man, the 4k is amazing. Because there there isn’t like that kind of detail. It’s more of like the whole picture taken as a whole. It did feel muted to me, but it almost, it worked in its favor in that way for me.
PROTO Yeah, I would agree. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing. I think I was just surprised by it. Because I think a lot of the time when I think of something, like we watched Lawrence of Arabia, I felt like everything just kind of popped off the screen. Whereas this felt, it just felt different. Like it’s still I mean, it’s, it’s, you know, obviously it’s there’s a lot of color in it. But it’s just not what I was necessarily expecting. And I watched the, so on the disc, there was like this 10 minute dock on just the making of it. And the team that made it, it’s a French team, I don’t know if it’s like StudioCanal who did it. But they talked about that and how the Director of Photography for Ran oversaw the the 4k transfer and just everything that went into it. And he was very adamant about just how they did restore and not losing the look of the period. So it seems like it was very intentional the way they did the 4k, which I thought was really cool. Because it does, it’s amazing. It feels like an old movies. Still it doesn’t look like some 4k is where I watched them. And it looks like wow, this movie looks like was made yesterday. This movie still looks like it was made in the 80s. But I mean, it looks amazing.
SLIM Sony said about like having someone who worked on the production oversee the restoration. If I remember correctly, James Cameron oversaw the restoration for the 4k of like Terminator 2. And most people don’t like it. Like they don’t like the work that they put into the color grading and stuff like that. Someone in chat can probably link to it or correct me if I’m wrong, but I always think about that with restorations. So the format of the segment, you know, we talk about each each person comes up with like, you know, their top three call outs that they want to bring up. And then some honorable mentions with our rating later in the show. Danny, do you remember hearing about Ran over the years? This is a blind spot for me. So I don’t have a huge backstory with Ran. What about you?
DANNY No, I don’t and I don’t have, I don’t actually have too much of a history with Kurosawa. Anyway, I think we talked about it on the Seven Samurai ep. So this, besides Hidden Fortress, and Seven Samurai, this would probably — oh no, I saw his Dreams movie. But besides those, this is only my fourth, I think, Akira Kurosawa movie. So I always heard that this is you know, one of his greats, if not The Great.
SLIM The Great.
DANNY And I think coming into this and then while watching it, I realized how slimfluenced I am on this film.
DANNY Because my expectations for this movie were high, like super high. Especially when I read all the Letterboxd reviews —
SLIM Everyone’s five stars for this movie.
DANNY Everyone’s five stars, four and a half, five stars. And it’s it’s like I don’t even know how to navigate my feelings coming into this film. [Proto laughs]
SLIM Proto’s got a steelbook, you see Proto holding a steelbook in a selfie, you see 5 stars rolling through your Letterboxd feed.
DANNY The 4K is a million dollars on Amazon right now. It’s like, holy shit. This has got to be one of the greatest pieces of cinema ever. So I think my problem when I start talking about this film is that I was incredibly slimfluenced coming into it. That being said, I was bored for the first hour.
SLIM The first hour.
DANNY Like really bored.
SLIM It is a slow burn. You know, one of my honorable mentions is the opening credits where it’s just everyone chillin on their horses. The shots like shifting from each like beautiful view of them just standing there with the credits. I thought that was gorgeous. But yeah, the first hour, first 45 minutes is really setting the stage through really long conversations with the main characters.
DANNY Long conversations. And I make a jab in my Letterboxd snippet about people — I can understand people’s hate for the Phantom Menace with the trade disputes because the conversations that they’re having and these whiny ass kids with their father giving them, I don’t know that King Lear story either, so that’s probably didn’t help much. But I just was like, holy shit where is where’s the amazingness in this film? Where’s all this color everyone’s talking about? I was ready to turn it off.
SLIM Just for everyone who has their Apple reviews in draft, that was Danny that said that.
DANNY Yeah, this is the other Slim.
SLIM It wasn’t Slim, it wasn’t the other Slim, it was Danny. Proto, do you want to do you want to rebuttal that comment before you give your first note?
PROTO I think, yeah, my expectations are different as well. I expected this to be much more of like a war epic where there are aspects of that but the word part really doesn’t come till the end of the movie. There was many points where I thought okay, here it’s gonna be a battle sequence you know, this is where the fighting begins or something I just had this expecting that there was going to be much, much more of like action in terms of like yeah, just like you know, soldiers fighting, but there really isn’t as much, it is much there are so many scenes of like conversations and people sitting and talking, which I guess probably sort of like for saw because I feel like the other Kurosawa movies I’ve seen are like that, you know, like there’s a lot of that and Seven Samurai as well. Um but yeah, I think my expectations were, yeah, this is one of those movies where you know, you hear so much about it before you see it that it’s hard not to be tainted by that I think. But to get my first point is really I just could not get over the costumes in this movie. The clothing is just on believable it is so cool. These robes that they have with the different patterns and just the look I mean the hair these lords man they’ve got I don’t know I’m sure there’s a name for it but whatever they’re doing with their hair with this top knot is just incredibly badass, this whole look they have going on. And then Lade Kaedae, her dresses, those gowns, I don’t even know how to describe them, but she just looks like a ba — not a balloon. But she just like, just the shape and size of her like moving around is so fascinating, of just like how the clothing changes the person as they, you know, navigate the set.
SLIM How much of a psychopath was she in this movie?
DANNY Man, I was getting some insane Princess Mononoke a vibes from this film. There were so many moments where, like when they even the bore at the very beginning I just thought about Mononoke okay and then her there sir. That’ll just her the way she carried herself and how insane she was. She just remind me of like Lady Eboshi and all that kind of stuff but, yeah, insane. Her final look where she gets her head cut off, that patterned robe thing she’s wearing. I want that. I want to wear that right now.
SLIM What a frickin shot that was.
PROTO Yeah, that’s nuts.
SLIM Where Kurogane, he’s just saying that this woman is going to screw things up. What are you doing listening to this woman? Oh my god. That beheading was so good.
[clip of Ran plays]
PROTO He’s over it.
SLIM So freaking good! Oh my god. Was that — was that Jiro? I think Jiro was the one idiot — I think like one of my notes is ‘You’re an idiot.’ Like he eventually, the one brother gets the first castle and then gets fooled into doing her bidding. Just behead her! Stick a knife in her throat, like you are a loser. It’s Jiro, KK says. I was like so annoyed at that guy.
DANNY Oh, when he brought back the stone fox head?
SLIM That was amazing, when he rubbed it in her face.
DANNY Got her.
PROTO I thought if she completely bewitched Jiro, I thought she was like kind of like played the role of almost like a witch in this, where she could just through her words, and her, you know, sexuality, control, Jiro and have him you know, lead him to his own demise. I wasn’t really too familiar with the King Lear story. I think I’ve read it in college. But other than that, like I’m not just other than like the general outline of it, I’m not really familiar with. But I did read that, so there’s a character in King Lear his name’s Edmund who’s like a illegitimate son of a lord. And he’s scheming throughout it to like get power throughout the whole play. So he’s after power. And they say that in this, in Ran, Kaedae is kind of like the the mirror of that so there isn’t like a direct Edmond character it’s more of Kaedae who is seeking revenge throughout this so she kind of takes that role which I thought was cool. And looking at like there’s the similarities between King Lear and Ran is pretty interesting. And just the way they like crafted the story to follow this the a lot of like the big bullet points of it, but not all the finer details.
SLIM Yeah, I was kind to thinking myself, I hope nobody rags on me for not knowing anything about King Lear.
PROTO Spoilers, we don’t know anything about King Lear —
SLIM Or movies.
PROTO Or movies. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM I do want to call out, I want to come back to the color a little bit. My first point is “The usage of color in this movie, mmf.” I love the usage of color in this movie, whether that be the flags, whether that be the army on one side, the two separate armies coming together. Did you drop the art yet? Because this just reminded me of it.
DANNY I did drop the art.
SLIM It’s amazing. I absolutely love the usage of color in this movie. I mean, combining the colors of their clothes to the houses to the setting in the open fields. It felt like, and I mean, this is a comment, it felt like an 80s Kurosawa movie. And like, I don’t know how they maintain like an 80s vibe or how it felt 80s, we talked about how the transfer felt at ease. It just felt so strange to be watching an 80s movie like this. And it was like a French production that financed this movie for him. And I think I remember reading that he had trouble finding financing later in his life, unfortunately. But I loved how it looked. And this ties into, you know, my other point, which I’ll say unfortunately early, which is when he, Hidetora, I don’t know how to pronounce it, but King Lear and this movie comes from his burning castle through the gates. Are you kidding me? Like that whole sequence is insanity, in my opinion, where he’s holed up in the castle, there’s arrows going through his room, fire. And he just like drifts out the front door while the thing is in flames in the distance. That had to have been so difficult to film.
DANNY I can’t imagine. Yeah, that’s one of my other big points was I know I mean, I know I said I was bored for the first hour. But after that hour, we get to this Castle Siege. And it is like, I need to see this in a cinema. Like I need to see this on a giant screen. Like I want to experience this in a massive cinema. Because there’s not only is the amazing, like this is I get that this is where the color comes in the separation of the two tribes or however you want to call them, the different Castle one, Castle two crew for the brothers. But the amount of people running around and the horses. I honestly don’t know how people didn’t catch an arrow to the face in real life. Like things are really being shot around. I mean, some of those guys have more arrows in them than Boremir had like, make Boremir look like a chump with the amount of arrows and these guys chest, like it’s unreal. But yeah, king, the king in this moment the Lord where he’s losing is slowly like the beginning of him losing his mind, walking around where he couldn’t even find a sword to kill himself on. I think that’s what happened, right? He couldn’t find his samurai blade to commit seppuku?
SLIM How about the women killing themselves too?
DANNY All around him is like chaos. The gunfire, like the fact that you had guns in this movie, I wasn’t prepared for. But that whole segment and one of my favorite parts of that battle is cutting out the sound effects for the score to come through and it’s just kind of you don’t hear the footsteps or the horses but you hear the score just playing and it’s beautiful.
PROTO Yeah, I love what the horses, Kurosawa, how he just seems like a genius at communicating movement. and speed, where there’s so many like action movies are seen in you know, movies with like courses and battles where you don’t really get that sense. You kind of see him on the screen. But he does like great things. Where just like, we have like people behind the horses galloping in the in the foreground. And so you can just really see how fast they are moving. And he just does like so many interesting things in terms of just like layering things as they move to like communicate how fast things are going. And I just thought it was like, there’s so many scenes like that that are really compelling. Although I did think of like, how many people do we have to see falling off a horse? [Slim & Danny laugh]
DANNY I was wondering if they used the same take a couple times.
SLIM The way that they fell, like, straight down in that one shot where the horses were flying by and people were just like dropping off.
DANNY Oh, I watched how they filmed that. So in the field, so that they don’t get trampled on, there’s guys laying on scaffolding. And when the horses run through the slots where they’re not, they just roll off the scaffolding and fall in the dirt.
SLIM It looks so cool.
DANNY It was really funny and so smart, too.
PROTO So in the mini doc on the just the the 4k, they do show this part where they were they they were looking at the film roll. And they saw that like there was there was like sections that were different than the other ones. And they weren’t really sure why but then they realized that what happened was that some of the scenes where there’s people falling on the off the horses, what they did is they just took the film, and they just reversed it. So it’s actually the same shot but it’s just the horses going the other way with guys falling off. So there’s a few shots where they just reused it.
SLIM Movie magic, they call it.
SLIM Art in chat, chariot scenes in Ben Hur, makes you wonder makes you want to Google how many people died making this movie?
DANNY Seriously, when he’s sitting in that room and the fiery arrows are flying around himl, like that feels way too unsafe.
SLIM Yeah, you called out the music. I thought the music was also wasn’t wasn’t what I was expecting. But I really enjoyed it. Like I think during the siege, the music starts coming in pretty hard. And I just made a point to call him like in my head like, this doesn’t feel like the music that I was expecting. But it sounds great. I’m not sure you guys notice the music.
DANNY Super rad.
SLIM It’s time for Danny, Danny’s number one.
DANNY So I’m going to wrap this into one comment because it’s kind of both the same thing. So there’s two things that I love about this film that he does. One is to show the passage of time. And he has them look at clouds rolling by. I don’t know why I loved that so much. But it was really a very cool transition from scene to scene to just show how time has gone by. And it’s like incredibly beautiful. And then my second of my favorite things in this film is the the wide shots of distance with people on hillsides or like the one army looking at the other army on the hill. I couldn’t get over how hard that would be to just do, because they feel like they’re a mile away. But they’re all in the same shot and it looks, the wide shots in this are incredible of the hillsides.
PRTOO Yeah, that whole crew of I think, his army up on the crest of that hill. Amazing. Those shots are amazing.
SLIM I thought it was interesting too, Saburo, the one son who was against the plan to start the movie of him relinquishing his power and giving it to his three sons. You know, he comes off as like really aggressive to his dad and kind of like an a-hole he ends up being the one that like really just comes through for his father at the end of the movie.
PROTO The good son.
SLIM I wasn’t really expecting that, you know, again, not sure if that relates to King Lear etc, etc, etc.
PROTO I love that foreshadowing though at the beginning where he cuts off the branches to give his father shade because he fell asleep there. So he’s the one who cuts those branches and puts his dad in the shade.
SLIM Mamma mia. Great call out. Is it Proto’s turn? Number two?
PROTO I think it’s me. I really love just the whole transformation of Hidetora in this. Like talk about from one end of the spectrum to the next. He starts off as this like uptight. You know, Lord, like not taking anything from anybody. And then just the progression slowly one scene after another until he becomes like this crazy wild haired, you know, fool, wandering the plains. Like just his look by the end of this movie is just like all time to me. That wispy beard and hair flying, the makeup that’s on his face.
SLIM The makeup is insane. Also, this is our boy from Harakiri and also Human Condition.
DANNY Yeah, man.
SLIM Also, our other boy played the blind brother from Human Condition. He was a young soldier and then he was the adopted son from Harakiri.
SLIM The first one who went to the clan that got forced into committing Harakiri. Amazing two-some coming back together again. Yeah, I mean, his character, I just went in so blind to this movie that I had no idea what the journey was going to be, you know, he kind of like gets, it looks like he’s getting sick, he starts to have these like visions that aren’t there. And his sons just throw him for a loop. Like, man, they really just kick him out in the cold and conspire against him together. And it just, his journey throughout this movie, you’re right. It’s just absurd.
PROTO Yeah, this story too. You can see why people keep making movies about, you know, based on Shakespeare’s plays, they’re just so amazing. Like this story in itself. It’s like, why haven’t we had a new like blockbuster King Lear movie in the past 10 years? I just feel like every director, shouldn’t they just be like trying to remake these movies? Because you could set this, I mean, you could set this at any time period, do anything you want to put your own cultural spin on it, whatever you want to do. And it would be compelling, because you just have the source material that is so great. So I mean, I would, you know, Robert Eggers says tomorrow he’s making a King Lear, I’m ready.
DANNY You know what I love about this story, especially in this movie is I couldn’t figure — like, I kept changing my allegiance, like who I wanted to, when, I guess would be the right word. Because, like, at some point, I feel sorry for the Lord, but also his him being a warlord leading up to how much they own is the reason like so much is in shambles, and it’s all coming back to bite him in the ass. But then it’s like the psycho lady. Like she really does a number on them because he burnt down their village. And then you wanted her to like, like, I was glad that all of her conniving kind of destroys this family. Like I really did like the story how it kind of played out for them.
PROTO Yeah, when he finds himself in the ruins of the castle. And he’s like, oh, crap, I did this. You know, it’s like his whole life’s work is coming back to him in his final hour, and doesn’t feel too good about it.
SLIM My second note is going to be some of the quotes I thought were really great in this movie. I mean, it starts out with him doing that like little mini presentation about the arrows, about how he’s going to ask for his three sons to unite. ‘’A single arrow is easily broken, but not three together.’’ And then I think, I can’t remember if it was the Jester who said this, ‘’Man is born crying. When he’s cried enough, he dies.’’ [Slim & Danny laugh] I just thought there was a lot of great little one-liners in this movie that I wanted to call out. Danny, it’s your number two.
DANNY It’s my number two? Oh God, I’m running out of things. The final bamboozle battle I thought was really fun, with them in the treeline when the bullets, with the guns, I couldn’t get over that. And then I didn’t really like the son getting shot though. I didn’t like how it was shot.
SLIM Oh, I gotcha.
DANNY Like the gunshot you hear. But he doesn’t even flinch. And for such a bloody movie, there needed to be a lot more blood in that scene for me.
SLIM He like hunched over as soon as the shot happened. He’s just like his head slowly, like goes back and stops moving.
PROTO Yeah, that was very much like this thing happened, but you’re not really seeing what happened.
SLIM That scene was heartbreaking. I mean, right before that, he’s like talking about how they’re going to have spent so much time together. And even Saburo is like grinning that he has this second chance with his father. I felt like my was ripped out in that moment.
DANNY Oof, sorry Slim.
SLIM Thank you. Proto, number three?
PROTO We mentioned it earlier but I really, really love the fox head scene. So Kaedae who is now with with Jiro, the second son who has like the Lord, because the first son died, tells their General to go and kill Soo, I think it was like the other who is Jiro’s first wife. And he comes back and he says he has the head and it’s wrapped up. And he puts it in front of her. And then she opens it, but then it’s like, just a statue of a fox head. And he plays like, oh, oh, she must have turned into a fox. And he tells like, you know, this whole tale of how like, this is the thing, but he’s really talking about her. At the same time. I just thought like the, the conversation there was just so good. That scene was just like so well crafted. I just like loved everything about that.
SLIM So well written, so well acted too, in that moment where he is not giving her an inch. She’s freaking out. I also want to call out that my version came with English dub, too, but I didn’t watch it with English dubs. But I just wanted to call out, that was an option. Don’t yell at me. I didn’t watch it.
DANNY Christian Bale as King Lear. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Idiot. Let’s see, my number three, my last thing, going through some of my honorable mentions because I’m pretty, we already talked about all my top threes. The audio in the movie, we didn’t really talk about too much. But the ambient audio the birds I think was called out in chat. The nature essentially in the movie, the wind on the flags, there’s one scene of them just like focusing on this portion, the army in the flag is blowing so hard on their flags. The wind is blowing so hard on flags. It sounds incredible. Just like these little things I mean even to start the movie off, you know, they’re just chilling around on their horses not doing anything so that was one of my favorite parts of the movie to be honest. Danny, number three?
DANNY We’ve already talked about them. We’ve run out.
SLIM Honorable mentions? And rating?
DANNY Oh god, we’re here already. [Slim laughs] Honorable mentions, I think everyone that has a speaking line in this film does an amazing job. I really love the performances in this film. Like I said in the beginning, I really was bored for the first hour of it. I just couldn’t, the amount of talking and dividing of lands and dealing with sons and leading up to the siege just drove me nuts. It was it was a long haul. And like I said I was super slimfluenced with this, I read all the five stars. I knew this was people’s favorite. So for me, I’m at three stars right now.
SLIM Ohhhhh, wuuut? Love Danny’s bravery right now. I support you, Danny.
DANNY Thank you.
SLIM I support you in this moment.
DANNY I appreciate you. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Proto, honorable mentions and final rating for Ran?
PROTO Let’s see, what else did I want to say? Oh, about the the audio I thought it was really interesting how the I don’t know which scenes it was in particular. I mean, it’s definitely with Hidetora, but there was almost like an echo to when they spoke. Did you guys notice that?
PROTO Yeah, there was like this. Like this. Like as if they were like almost in a cave. I don’t know what the significance of that was. But I thought it was like really interesting that choice.
DANNY Do you think it was on purpose?
SLIM KK is saying something in chat.
PROTO Echoes out over the fields when someone is monologuing to the heavens. Oh, I guess, I guess it’s like communicating that they’re speaking in that way.
SLIM Grant says it’s intentional.
PROTO Very cool. The other thing I thought, um, yeah, we mentioned like the boar scene at the beginning, but I just thought, you know, how trippy would it be for a boar — all the boar like all the board knows, right? Is that they’re getting chased. But they they’re looking back and they’re seeing a horse, but they’re seeing another creature on top of a horse chasing after them. [Danny laughs] So this this boar is just running for its life. And it’s like my dad. I’ve got two creatures after me and this one’s on top of the other like that must be terrifying.
DANNY Those deerskin chaps, are you kidding me? I want them.
PROTO Yeah, there’s aspects of this movie. I was really blown away by like, yeah, that the color is incredible. I love the story. This is a movie I feel like I need to watch again to really take it all in. So I’m at four stars for Ran.
SLIM Mmhmm. A viewing 20 years in the making, is that what I saw you say in Discord this week?
PROTO I think it was two years, but 20 sounds better. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Let’s just call it 20 years. I said it before it. I’m not articulating it very well. But I really enjoyed the 80s vibe of this movie. The way the muted colors, you know, presented themselves at the right time, the scale of the movie, and the lead actor, I love him. He’s like, I don’t know, I’ve seen him in Human Condition. The first two that I’ve seen,Harakiri, I love his presence. He feels like a stage actor. The way he moves his legs. It’s like the most over the top way to run and I love every second of it.
PROTO I love when he jumps off the cliff.
DANNY Oh my god.
SLIM Yeah. And I love the siege of the castle scene. That scene is probably worth the price of admission in and of itself. The moment where he and Sobaru makeup and they see each other again. So I’m at four and a half stars for Ran. I had a really fun time.
DANNY Is he in any films with Mifune?
SLIM Is Mifune in Yojimbo?
PROTO Yeah, he’s the Gunslinger, isn’t he?
SLIM Oh, yeah. He’s the squirrely guy with that gun in Yojimbo.
DANNY So they’re both in that film.
DANNY Maybe I’ll watch that sometime soon and give it three stars.
SLIM High and Low.
PROTO Yojimbo, I think, is only like 90 minutes.
DANNY Oh, really?
SLIM Yojimbo is good. It’s no Harakiri. It’s the highest bar that has ever been barred, in my opinion. Anyone that rates Harakiri lower than four stars. I need them getting mentally checked.
PROTO Retire. [Slim & Danny laugh]
PROTO Is there retire flag you can put on a Letterboxd account?
SLIM I’ll check into that if I can. Oh, you know what? I forgot to play Harry Potter voicemail during our 70mm vault episode. Dang it! Sorry. We’ll get to that at some point. We do have a VM from KK about Ran. So you can shoot us a letter, VM to 70mmpod.com, or gmail you can figure it out, email@example.com. So let’s hear from KK.
VOICEMAIL It’s KK. There’s a lot of thematic importance behind much of what’s done in Ran. It’s a nihilistic, grim, watered colored retelling. But I have just one simple, tiny question. The beginnings of an idea that started when I first watched Seven Samurai and has grown more with every Kurosawa film I’ve seen. And that is, has any director loved running over stunt men with horses more than this man? That’s all. That’s my entire question. I hope you liked the movie. I call it my favorite Kurosawa, if it weren’t for the fact that Yojimbo is eight hours shorter. Byyye!
SLIM Props to KK. I think this is in KK’s top four and he kept his VM to 39 seconds.
DANNY Yeah, I respect that.
PROTO Veteran. [Slim laughs] That’s how it’s done people, pay attention.
SLIM That is how it’s done. Thank you, KK. I think we have an email in also, let me see here, let me pull it up. This comes from Jason. ‘Gentlemen, love the podcast, been listening for almost a year now. And I think I finally may be ready to make a suggestion. Would love your professional take on the 1979 classic The Warriors. Cheers, Jason.’
SLIM Proto, have you ever seen The Warriors?
PROTO Ah, I don’t think I have. What what year did you say? 1989?
PROTO There is a movie, I may have seen this. I’d have to watch it again. How about you guys? Have you seen it?
SLIM I have seen Warriors. I think I remember enjoying it. I don’t know if that was BLB or not? Danny?
DANNY I have never seen Warriors. I can know that for a fact. This was on my list of when we don’t have themed month of movies to pick. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Art in chat, Warriors feels like its licensed to Dune Pod. [Slim & Danny laugh]
PROTO It’s from the mind of Walter Hill who also did 48 Hours, Streets of Fire, Red Heat, Brewster’s Millions.
DANNY Oh, Brewster’s Millions.
SLIM Look at this art Mikey P is showing in chat. Mikey P is also a big Kurosawa head. He went through the entire Kurosawa filmography, was that last year Mikey? Everything. As long as it took to track down a DVD of one of his last movies.
PORTO What a journey.
SLIM Makes me sick. We have to, let’s see. We got to announce next week’s movie.
SLIM Next week’s movie, let me pull it up on Letterboxd right now. Okay, just so I can get my facts straight about where it’s streaming.
DANNY Talk to us.
SLIM So, you know, we’re in February. Valentine’s Day is coming up. But it’s not quite Valentine’s Day when this episode drops, but you know, it’s February people like get, you know, getting together, falling in love. Right? We felt, why don’t we take it up a notch. And watch a movie a lot of people have seen, a lot of people talk about, a lot of people like, I’ve never seen. But you both have seen, right?
SLIM So this may be streaming on Hulu. Dave says remember the single folks. Yes, single folks who are out there. I support you as well. We’re here for you. We’re your movie family. 2005. Love is a force of nature, streaming on Hulu directed by Ang Lee. Brokeback Mountain will be our next episode.
PROTO Heath Ledger month begins now. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Our king.
SLIM Tim says don’t forget about married folks with kids who barely have time for human contact. [Slim laughs] Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway. Randy Quaid is in this?
DANNY You’re not ready for this, Slim.
SLIM David Harbour?
DANNY Slim, I need you to order a 10 pack of Kleenex boxes for this film. Please. [Slim laughs]
SLIM The last time I cried on this podcast was the 4K viewing of Lawrence of Arabia, I think. When I openly wept that one shot.
DANNY We’re gonna turn the ticker. Zero days since Slim cried.
SLIM 4.1 on Letterboxd, I’m excited. Proto, how do you feel going into this?
PROTO I’m excited to rewatch this. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. You know, actually might be fun to read the short story because it’s, it’s pretty short. I think it’s like 50 pages or something. So just to compare the two. I think you can find it online. I might do that as well.
SLIM Paul correctly points out that Roma was probably the last time I cried on the show.
DANNY That’s true. See, Tim confirmed.
SLIM Big week next week. And just keep in mind in two weeks, we’re getting started with The road to Batman. Batman Begins is the first one. So we got a big month or two coming up here. Proto, any closing thoughts for Ran as we head to Brokeback Mountain?
PROTO Well I think if Hidetora tells us anything in life, it’s just you know, you reap what you sow. Right, that’s the old truth. So just try to sow good things out there to the family right? Don’t have them come in for revenge later in life, because they’ll get ya.
SLIM Has any podcast gone from Ran to Brokeback Mountain? [Slim & Danny] I don’t think so. You’re not going to get this on other podcasts!
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]