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While we’re lucky to live in a time where so many legendary filmmakers make their work and process accessible, there will always be a mystery behind some of the masters. Filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, John Ford, Frank Capra and many others passed away long before the age of video blogs, Twitter and behind the scenes DVD featurettes, leaving film fans with a precious few chances to study them in action.

Another man who makes that list is Akira Kurosawa, director of such iconic films as Seven Samurai,¬†Rashomon, The Hidden Fortress¬†and Yojimbo. Kurosawa passed away in 1998, which means some of his process was documented on his later films. That includes 1985′s Ran, a Japanese epic inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear. Now, a huge wealth of footage has come online – five hours of it – featuring the master filmmaker working behind the scenes on Ran. Check it out below. Read More »

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Criterion To Release Akira Kurosawa’s Ran on Blu-Ray

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Criterion Collection has announced that they will be releasing Akira Kurosawa‘s Ran on Blu-Ray in May. The release will include:

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with an uncompressed stereo soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Stephen Prince
  • An appreciation of the film by director Sidney Lumet
  • A.K., a 74-minute film by director Chris Marker
  • A 30-minute documentary on the making of Ran, from the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • Video interview with actor Tatsuya Nakadai
  • Theatrical trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Wilmington and an interview with Kurosawa

Expected to hit store shelves on May 12th 2009 with a MSRP of $39.99. Full details after the jump.

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