The film that was just on my mind; The Loyal 47 Ronin (2 parts) by Mizoguchi. A Japanese Lord has to commit ritual suicide after attacking another who had insulted him. 47 of his Samurai followers vow revenge, that leads to their own collective deaths.
Here's what Darrell Davis' book, Picturing Japaneseness (which i've just been re-reading) has to say;
"the classic example of monumental style..., a masterpiece because it transcends drama,..a feast..that requires some fasting from the satiation of narrative appetite,...the fullest elaboration imaginable of the dream of pure Japaneseness".
It is very (too?)long, slow, episodic, lacking in dramatic action (this is NOT your typical Samurai action film), majestic. Most of the significant events occur off-screen. For some, it will seem ponderous. For me, the 3 hrs 40 minutes whizzed by. As well as concentrating on Bushido (way of the Samurai) it's also an epic exploration of space. The camerawork, compositions and lighting are elegant, magnificent, and- for anyone who pays due care and attention- awe-inspiring. The crane shot that begins Part 2 had me gasping. The moment when Lord Asano goes to his death involves another of the greatest single demonstrations of camerawork and composition in cinema history. Neither example makes itself obvious; Mizoguchi was far too great and subtle a director to need to show off his expertise.
To think this is far from Mizoguchi's greatest masterpiece! The more accessible and involving Sansho the Bailiff is merely the peak of world cinema.