Img:ONLINE EVENT - Japan Society Film Club: Dark Water directed by Hideo Nakata


Japan Society Film Club: Ran by Akira Kurosawa

Do you love Japanese film classics, anime or contemporary cinema stories? Do you miss Japan and want to see it at least on screen? Would you like to learn and discuss about Japanese culture and society? Join us for the Japan Society Film Club where we will chat online about films and Japan in an informal atmosphere.

For our Film Club in September, we invite you to watch one of the most stunning adaptations of Shakespeare's King Lear, the monumental period drama Ran directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1985.

Celebrated as Akira Kurosawa’s final masterpiece, Ran (乱) reimagines Shakespeare's King Lear in feudal Japan delivering an epic and bloody spectacle of war, corruption and betrayal. It tells the story of Hidetora Ichimonji (played by Kurosawa’s regular actor Tatsuya Nakadai) an arrogant and ageing warlord in 16th century Japan who, after spending his life building a ruthless empire, decides to abdicate and divide his Kingdom amongst his three sons provoking both chaos and his own downfall. Combining samurai narratives with a vibrant use of colour and Japanese aesthetic devices from Noh theatre, Kurosawa’s arresting vision of this Shakespearean drama is presented now in a splendid new restoration.

Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) is considered one of the greatest film directors in the history of cinema in Japan and beyond. After training as a painter, he entered the film industry in 1936 and made his directorial debut in 1943 with the film Sanshiro Sugata. After the war, Kurosawa went on to write and direct celebrated and influential films such as Rashomon (1950), Ikiru (1952), Seven Samurai (1954), Yojimbo (1961), Dersu Uzala (1975) and Ran (1985). Often regarded as the most Western of Japanese directors, Kurosawa is celebrated for his innovative style, visual composition and storytelling. During his 50 year career in which he directed 30 films, he received numerous film awards and career honours, including a Golden Lion for Career Achievement at the 1982 Venice Film Festival and an Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 1989.

Japan Society Film Club takes place on the first Wednesday of the month. We will recommend a film to watch in advance and meet online to discuss. Films are often available online for free, on DVD, online platforms or on BFI player which includes a special season on Japanese cinema. When possible, we will invite film experts to introduce and lead the discussion, but the event is open to all and we encourage participants to freely express their opinions and feelings about the films.

If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email

Booking Info

Please remember to watch the film in advance. Ran is available to rent or buy on Rakuten TVAmazon Prime Video and Google Play, as well as on BFI player with subscription.

  • You should receive an automated email from the Japan Society to let you know that your booking request has been registered. Please note that your booking is pending while we check your details and you will receive a further email once your booking is confirmed.
  • For online events, we will send you the zoom links and details to attend the event closer to the date.
  • If you don't receive any confirmation emails or links, please check your spam folder or email



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