My brother and I have a birthday tradition of buying each other films on DVD we really want to watch, and then viewing them before we wrap and gift them.
This year I bought him Kurosawa’s reimagining of King Lear, Ran (it’s okay, he doesn’t hang out here, I’m not spoiling the surprise). The film was magnificent: a fearfully oppressive retelling, mostly filmed on a wide open plain, in which every shot manages to be horribly claustrophobic. It’s a really unsettling film that does great justice to its source.
BUT, getting to the stage where I was able to watch it involved half an hour of self-mutilating contortions, battling with a DVD case that still had its red tag attached and was therefore locked tightly shut, beyond all human ken to open. Stupid HMV monkey.
Brute strength and a penknife eventually won the day, though I’m not sure I could give even my brother this as a present: