movie poster

Rating: 7 stars


filmmaking behind the scenes director movie about movies Japan French horses

Seen 1 time

Seen on: 04/23/2019

View on: IMDb | TMDb

A . K. (1985)

Directed by Chris Marker

Documentary | History

Most recently watched by sleestakk


In 1985, Chris Marker traveled to Japan to attend the filming of Ran, directed by Akira Kurosawa. Marker analyzes the progress of filming; the infinite patience of a team under the orders of a meticulous director down to the smallest detail; the antithetical mixture of the modern with the traditional; of the real with the fictitious; of life with cinema… and literature.

Rated G | Length 75 minutes


Akira Kurosawa | Chris Marker | Ishirô Honda | Asakazu Nakai | Toru Takemitsu | Masato Hara | Takao Saitô | Tatsuya Nakadai | Teruyo Nogami | Shinobu Muraki | Fumio Yanoguchi | Takeji Sano | Vittorio Dalle Ore

Viewing Notes

A behind-the-scenes feature during the making of RAN with a little French narration.

Takeaways: they filmed on Mount Fuji in winter but you don’t see Mt Fuji in the film RAN. I suppose the shear scale of the production filming outdoors is one reason movies like this aren’t made anymore - at least not in this fashion with real extras, horses, sets, etc. It gets a little too foggy they have to shut down for the day. A lot of waiting around and if they get a sliver of the right weather they have to setup quickly.

I love seeing Ishiro Honda next to Kurosawa during the filming. I believe he’s even credited on the film. They are like childhood buddies still making movie magic.

They needed so many horses they had to import half of them from America. Some of the warriors are women because the also needed so many extras to be warriors. Also fun to see period sets & costumed characters next to modern machinery (the cars and cranes and whatnot). Also funny to see warriors smoking cigarettes.

Fumio Yanoguchi who recorded sound (and a longtime Kurosawa inner circle guy) is shown throughout but sadly died during production.

Oddly Toru Takemitsu’s score is also used for this documentary and it works, giving this BTS footage a sense of uneasiness. He’s also shown visiting the set.

All the different techniques used to create the tension, drama, action, etc. are great to see applied (painting a field “gold”, pouring concrete dust, etc.).

Of course now I’d like to see the movie again. There’s a 4K release in the UK that would be nice to have. I’ve read that this StudioCanal blu doesn’t have the best picture anyways. It’s not terrible but I’d love to see a better print.


No comments yet. Log in and be the first!