EFC II #226 – Ran (1985)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#226 – Ran (1985)
Dir. Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mieko Harada, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Mansai Nomura, Hisashi Igawa, Peter

The two hundred and twenty-sixth installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, Akira Kurosawa’s final epic, the monumental in scope and tragic in tone, Ran.

Recorded in November 2017.

Oscar Wins: Best Costume Design (Emi Wada)

Is it a film you must see before you die?

Luke: Yes, absolutely, one of the best war films ever made.

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EFC II #225 – Dersu Uzala (1975)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#225 – Dersu Uzala (1975)
Dir. Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Maksim Munzuk, Yuriy Solomin, Mikhail Bychkov, Vladimir Khrulev, V. Lastochkin, Svetlana Danilchenko

The two hundred and twenty-fifth installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, Akira Kurosawa’s Russian epic, set in the Siberian wilderness, Dersu Uzala.

Recorded in November 2017.

Oscar Wins: Best Foreign Language Film (Akira Kurosawa)

Is it a film you must see before you die?

Luke: For my money, yes, I loved this film so much. A wonderful friendship forged through epic journeys through the harsh wilderness of Siberia.

EFC II #221 – In the Realm of the Sense (1976)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#221 – In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
Dir. Nagisa Oshima
Starring: Eiko Matsuda, Tatsuya Fuji, Aoi Nakajima, Yasuko Matsui, Meika Seri, Kanae Kobayashi, Taiji Tonoyama

The two hundred and twenty-first installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, Nagisa Oshima’s highly controversial, In the Realm of the Senses.

Recorded in November 2017.

Is it a film you must see before you die?

Luke: For me, no. It’s highly controversial because of its unsimulated sex scenes, and while I hated those, it was ultimately just a hard film to sit through with unlikeable characters.

EFC II #220 – The Ballad of Narayama (1983)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#220 – The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
Dir. Shōhei Imamura
Starring: Ken Ogata, Sumiko Sakamoto, Tonpei Hidari, Aki Takejo, Shoichi Ozawa, Fujio Tokita, Sanshō Shinsui, Seiji Kurasaki

The two hundred and twentieth installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, Shōhei Imamura’s gripping and impressive version of The Ballad of Narayama.

Recorded in November 2017.

Is it a film you must see before you die?

Luke: Yes, it’s a haunting film, though I definitely feel like the 1958 film is the superior one and should probably be in the book over the 1983 version.

EFC II #219 – Tampopo (1985)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#219 – Tampopo (1985)
Dir. Juzo Itami
Starring: Nobuko Miyamoto, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kōji Yakusho, Ken Watanabe, Rikiya Yasuoka, Kinzō Sakura, Yoshi Katō

The two hundred and nineteenth installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, Juzo Itami’s weird and wonderful “ramen Western,” Tampopo.

Recorded in November 2017.

Luke: Absolutely, it was hilarious and unique.

EFC II #217 – Tokyo Story (1953)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#217 – Tokyo Story (1953)
Dir. Yasujirō Ozu
Starring: Chishū Ryū, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara, Haruko Sugimura, So Yamamura, Kuniko Miyake, Kyōko Kagawa

The two hundred and seventeenth installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, Yasujirō Ozu’s simple yet moving masterpiece, Tokyo Story.

Recorded in October 2017.

Is it a film you must see before you die?

Connie: No. It’s good, but no.

Luke: Yes, one of the best films I’ve seen, just a raw and powerful drama that anyone could relate to.

EFC II #216 – Onibaba (1964)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#216 – Onibaba (1964)
Dir. Kaneto Shindo
Starring: Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Satō, Taiji Tonoyama, Jūkichi Uno

The two hundred and sixteenth installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, an atmospheric horror drama from Kaneto Shindo, Onibaba.

Recorded in October 2017.

Is it a film you must see before you die?

Luke: Yes, it’s a very eerie and effective drama with a dash of horror that works extremely well.

EFC II #211 – Rashomon (1950)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#211 – Rashomon (1950)
Dir. Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Kichijiro Ueda, Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyō, Masayuki Mori, Noriko Honma, Daisuke Katō

The two hundred and eleventh installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, the Japanese master Akira Kurosawa’s first masterpiece, a tale of perception and lies, Rashomon.

Recorded in October 2017.

Oscar Wins: Outstanding Foreign Language Film

Is it a film you must see before you die?

Connie: I’m ok. It’s a good film, if you’re a Kurosawa fan.

Luke: Yes definitely, an excellent film, Kurosawa’s first masterpiece.

EFC II #119 – Floating Weeds {浮草 Ukigusa} (1959)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#119 – Floating Weeds {浮草 Ukigusa} (1959)
Dir. Yasujiro Ozu
Starring: Ganjirō Nakamura, Machiko Kyō, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Haruko Sugimura, Ayako Wakao

The one hundred and nineteenth installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu’s contemplative film about a travelling theatre group, Floating Weeds.

Recorded in December 2016.

Is it a film you must see before you die?

Luke: Yes, I think so, though I could see a lot of people not getting on with it. It’s more than worth the shot to give a look.

 

 

EFC II #97 – Ring {リング Ringu} (1998)

The Epic Film Challenge II
#97 – Ring {リング Ringu} (1998)
Dir. Hideo Nakata
Starring: Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rikiya Ōtaka, Yoichi Numata, Rie Inō

The ninety-seventh installment of the Epic Film Challenge II, Hideo Nakata’s adaptation of a mystery-horror novel that draws from a Japanese folk tale, which sparked many sequels and American remakes, Ring.

Recorded in October 2016.

Is it a film you must see before you die?

Connie: No, I highly recommend it, but not a must see.

Luke: No, I really, really enjoyed it, but it’s not quite a film you have to see before you die.