I can still vividly recall the first time I sat somewhat flippantly down to watch Akira Kurosawa’s Ran, only to discover myself mesmerized from the film’s very first scene. Its extraordinary colors, amazing visual (and acting) discipline, and strong, unsettling foreshadowing of the film’s tragic story all combined to make me instantly aware that I was about to undergo a cinematic experience unlike anything else I had experienced up until that time.
Now, as Jeff Overstreet points out over at his Looking Closer blog, I am finally able to combine my devotion to Kurosawa’s masterpiece with my well-documented streaming content obsession: Ran has come to Hulu.
Being (as yet) without a Hulu account, I’m not what sort of image quality is available there. So, I’m not sure I can recommend this permutation without reservation; the film should be watched in as high a resolution as humanly possible. Also, there is a “mature content” gate, which helps prevent youngsters from viewing a number of fairly intense (and occasionally violent) battle sequences.
Watch the first scene, at least. It’s simply extraordinary.