Posted by: Geoff
Geoff was sick this weekend, but he watched Kagemusha and Ran from his apartment via live feed. By that, I mean that he rented both films, and via cell-phone global-link hookup, he synced his start times with Stiff-Leg Central's own rigid schedule. His comments on these two films appear below:
Maybe Kagemusha and Ran weren’t the best two to jump in on. I read in Chris’s write-ups that Kagemusha is often considered a dry run for Ran, and maybe that explains some of the repeated motifs of the two. The ill-fated cavalry charge against entrenched positions, dreams of pursuit by enemies, the failure of real-world shadows to live up to their mythical predecessors, etc. I’ve gone ahead and rented a copy of Ikiru to round out the remote participation phase of this Stiff-Legged adventure, and to guard against forever identifying Kurosawa with the Man with the Flute.
Seriously, it was only regular doses of acetaminophen and chloraseptic that managed to suppress my gag reflex when big-butt Tutsumaru (sp?) blindly stumbled up to the precipice and accidentally dropped the Buddha image over the side. Did AK see that commercial of the Indian shedding a tear as garbage blows across his once-beautiful hunting grounds? But really, when we’re dealing with such epic and mythical productions, I shouldn’t fault steamrolling symbology. Sometimes you just gotta pull that sword out of its sheath and slide it right into your belly. And I’d watch Tutsumaru over and over on loop for an hour just to watch Kaede lick the blood off Jiro’s neck one more time. What’s that on your collar? Lipstick? A little blood?
Was it only me, or did the musical score kind of remind anyone else of music from Star Wars? Like, not the bombastic themes, but the parts when the droids are wandering around in the desert. Simple musical accompaniment – solo bassoon or trumpet or something, punctuated by quick trills on a flute or something. Maybe that’s just me. I’d be interested to know whether that musical style was in The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo, etc. Did steal that from Kurosawa as well, or did and Lucas loan out an orchestral sweatshop to Kurosawa? As an aside, I did a little net-searching on what good buddy Lucas was up to at around the time as Ran – turns out he was executive producing the Paul Schraeder-penned Mishima, itself something of an exploration of myth-making and real life. Oh, and he was also producing .
I’ll have to rewatch the middle third of Kagemusha today or tomorrow – I drifted off to the land of winds and ghosts somewhere between the Noh theater and that dream sequence with the purple and pink backgrounds.