Following up on his critically acclaimed, blood-splattered epic Ran, master director Akira Kurosawa looks inward with this collection of eight brightly colored dreams. The first section centers on a young boy (Mitsunori Izaki), who witnesses a forest wedding procession of fox spirits in spite of his mother's (Mitsuko Baisho) warning. The second section concerns the same lad who converses with peach-tree spirits after the trees have been cruelly cut down. This is followed by a party of mountain climbers struggling to make it back to base camp in the midst of a terrible blizzard. The fourth dream deals with a man (Akira Terao) -- a Kurosawa stand-in complete with the director's trademark floppy white hat -- who encounters ghosts of Japan's militaristic past in a forlorn tunnel. In the following dream, the same man ventures into a Van Gogh painting called <i>The Crows</i> and meets the artist himself (Martin Scorsese). The sixth and seventh dreams venture into nightmare territory -- one deals with a nuclear meltdown that threatens Japan while the other concerns post-nuclear mutants. In the final dream, Kurosawa meets a 103-year-old man (played by Ozu regular Chishu Ryu) in a utopian rural village.
~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide