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Stories for November 11, 2000

Ran

Nov. 11
By Beth Accomando and Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

The language of Shakespeare may be gone but the images and themes remain. Kurosawa had been contemplating an adaptation of Lear for ten years before finally bringing Ran to the screen. His idea was to set Lear against the backdrop of Japans 16th century civil wars and cross the story with the legend of Mori, a feudal warlord who had three good sons. Lears story prompted Kurosawa to think what would have happened if Moris sons had not been loyal. So Lears daughters are transformed into sons but the basic plot remains the same. In this case, Lord Hidetora wants to relieve himself of the burden of power but not the honor and ceremony that attends it. So he divides his lands amongst his sons. The two eldest flatter their father and then betray him whereas the youngest calls his father a fool and is cast aside. But soon Hidetora is humiliated and abused by his two false sons and this drives him to madness.

Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

Nov. 11
By Baccomando and KPBS Public Broadcasting