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Epic Movies of the 1980s: Aiming for the Extraordinary

Epic Movies of the 1980s: Aiming for the Extraordinary

The word ‘Epic’ has recently been devalued and just used to mean something that is striking or enjoyable, but the correct meaning of the word indicated narratives in the ‘Epic’ mould – those which surpass the ordinary in scale and reach heroic proportions – this applies to films too. I’m taking a look at some of the truly Epic movies from the early 1980s that showed extraordinary ambition in their story and spectacle.

“Forged by a god. Foretold by a wizard. Found by a king.”

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Ran (1985, Japan / France)

Ran (1986) Theatrical PosterKurosawa’s epic movie Ran is a cinematic masterpiece that has survived the test of time. Dazzling cinematography on the mountain slopes and volcanic plains of Kyushu and spectacular battle scenes earned Kurosawa a Best Director Oscar nomination and made Ran the most expensive Japanese movie ever produced.

One of the elements that makes the film so compelling, is the skill with which Kurosawa remodels Shakespeare’s King Lear to Japanese legend…

“In a mad world only the mad are sane.”

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