CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – The master director Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) gave us a treasure trove of cinematic wizardry, to savor and revisit for years to come. Rialto Pictures is distributing the latest 4K restoration of one of his greatest pictures, “Ran” (1985). As part of a nationwide road show, it’s currently at the Gene Siskel Film Center of Chicago.
CHICAGO – Of all the cinematic variations on Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran” is one of the few that, dare I say, improves on the Bard’s original blueprint.
CHICAGO – I have to admit to a bit of trepidation every time a studio outside of the widely acknowledged masters tries their hand at catalog releases but the Lionsgate/StudioCanal Blu-ray releases of “Contempt,” “The Ladykillers,” and “Ran” are spectacular. Not only do the films look amazing in HD but they’ve been given copious special features. Don’t miss them.
DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0
CHICAGO – I’m not sure, but I think there are more Akira Kurosawa titles available in the Criterion Collection than any other filmmaker. His classic films like “Ran,” “Rashomon,” “Seven Samurai,” and “Yojimbo” have been critically acclaimed releases for the influential series of DVDs. His 24th title in the Criterion Collection is last week’s “Dodes’da Ken,” one of the greatest directors of all time’s first film in color.