In 1960 Kurosawa released The Bad Sleep Well, a study of corruption and revenge set in the corporate business world of modern Japan and conveyed as a film-noir thriller, while also loosely drawing on a complex of themes from Hamlet. The setting of his 1985 film Ran returns to the Japanese medieval civil-war epoch, its power conflicts again being mediated by the samurai warrior codes so effectively deployed for Kumonosu-Jô. Kurosawa stated that Shakespeare was not the inspiration for Ran, yet many echoes of King Lear, especially its dramatically bitter rivalries, are to be found in it. The film is about what happens when three sons turn on the great warlord father who has decided to divide his kingdom among them in order to seek a peaceful retirement: a kind of Japanese medieval hell on earth ensues. Both films are fine artistic achievements, and are certainly worthy of further discussion and analysis. But neither are Shakespeare adaptations within the terms of this book (or in Kurosawa’s own terms either), so are beyond its scope.
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