Ikiru

Ikiru

DVD - 2004 | Japanese
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When a Japanese bureaucrat learns he has only a short time to live, he works to redeem his wasted life through unselfishness.
Publisher: [New York] : Criterion Collection, [2004]
Edition: Special ed.
ISBN: 9780780026919
0780026918
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (143 min.) :,sd., b&w ;,4 3/4 in.

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l
lindy919
Mar 11, 2017

Couldn't get into it. Very boring.

d
dennismmiller
Feb 22, 2017

Simply one of the greatest films of all time.

j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2016

An unforgettable film that should be revisited now and then. A serious yet humorous life lesson for all ages, at least before the system or A.I. takes over in the future. The featured song "Life is brief" lyrics in "Quotes" and watch film clips in "Videos":
Fall in love, maidens
Before the crimson bloom
Fades from your lips
Before the tides of passion
Cool within you
For those of you
Who know no tomorrow

cals_moviebrooks Nov 02, 2016

The description of this movie makes it sound depressing, but it's not. When a group of Japanese bureaucrats get hammered in memory of their dead colleague, the movie becomes funny, then intriguing, then haunting. This is, in fact, a beautiful little samurai film...

y
yumsushi
Feb 09, 2013

Wonderful movie about a man trying to finally do something meaningful in his life. Keep a box of Kleenex around!

a
akirakato
Jan 03, 2013

On Disc Two, you can find a 40-minute documentary on the making of "Ikiru," featuring interviewes with a number of Kurosawa's key collaborators including writer Shinobu Hashimoto (橋本 忍), art director Yoshiro Muraki (村木与四郎), script supervisor Teruyo Nogami (野上照代), and actors Takashi Shimura (志村喬), Miki Odagiri (小田切みき), and Kin Sugai (菅井きん).
Also included is an 81-minute in-depth documentary produced by Kurosawa Production Inc., featuring interviews with Akira Kurosawa on the set of his later films as well as his messages on Cinematic Material (Chap. 1) Scripts (Chap. 2) Storyboards (Chap. 3) Shooting a movie (Chap. 4) Lighting (Chap. 5) Art Direction (Chap. 6) Costumes (Chap. 7) Editing (Chap. 8) Music (Chap. 9), and Directing (Chap. 10).
If you're a cinephile, these two documentary films would most definitely satisfy your curiosity and interest.
Her daughter, Kazuko Kurosawa (黒澤和子), will meet you at the end of the documentary.

Good movie.

j
joelinMagnolia
Jul 04, 2011

This is the greatest film ever made. The story deals with the most basic issue any person encounters on Earth: how to live one's life. It focuses on one Japanese man of average intellect and abilities who has been for many years just ''going through the motions'', doing what was expected of him, staying busy but not accomplishing anything, not really interacting or connecting with people - co-workers, friends, or family. As a speaker he is not very articulate. Really, he is rather boring. That is, until he learns (in the most indirect, uncomfortable and humiliating way) that he has cancer and only has months to live. How he reacts to this horrible news, how he comes to terms with it, how it affects the people around him, the changes he makes in his life, what he does with his remaining time on Earth, and how the people around him come to understand what he did and why (since, for the most part, he did not tell anyone of his affliction) makes up the body of the film. The structure of the film was unique for its time. Similarly with ''Citizen Kane'', its techniques have been appropriated and imitated over the years. Certain editing techniques were ahead of its time. Its use of sound, and the lack of sound, is surprising yet appropriate. The use of a real song from 1915 in four different arrangements (during the title credits, in the dance hall, in the park, and in the final scene of the film) bind the whole film and give it a huge impact. When this film was first released in 1952, it addressed the very current situation Japan was in. The U.S. had just lifted some censorship bans, so this film is one of the first to criticize the cultural impact of the American presence in Japanese society. No American appears it the film, but American tastes and presence can be felt throughout it. Seen now, it has the patina of a period piece, yet the story remains modern and relevant. It's a blast from the past. It's like a parable of Jesus from the Gospel according to St. Luke where, at the end of it, when the listener of the parable demonstrates that he gets the point, you expect the Jesus response, ''Go and do likewise.'' This is the only starring role of Takashi Shimura, a Toho Studios contract player and a steady character actor (he was in the original Gojiro movie - ''Godzilla'' to us Americans). While he received top billing in later film ''The Seven Samurai'', ''Ikiru''; is his film alone. He makes the most of this role. You believe the suffering he undergoes. (If you see ''The Seven Samurai'' after this one, you may have a hard time recognizing the leader of the band of samurais as the same actor. That's how good Takashi Shimura was.) The other actors are very good, even those whose first film this was, like Miki Odagiri. This film by Akira Kurosawa is not perfect. It has lots of flaws from a technical standpoint and from other aspects. It is a sentimental piece. But its understanding of the human condition, its portrayal of the most basic human need: to make a difference in the world, and its grounding in the real world make it the greatest movie in the whole world I have ever seen. There has been talk of an American remake of this film. There has been a Japanese TV remake of it in 2007. This is the original. This film is meant for adults, due to language, though I wonder if the English subtitles translation of the Japanese is accurate.

r
Ross_Paterson
Aug 04, 2010

Amazing film. very different from 7 samurai or Ran. A quieter film. But very deeply emotional.

Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2016

Ah, here is our protagonist now. But it would only be tiresome to meet him right now. After all,
he's simply passing time without actually living his life. In other words, he's not really even alive.
===
Drinking... this expensive sake is like paying myself back with poison for the way I lived all these years. In other words, I mean, it feels awful, but it feels good at the same...
===
I can't bring myself to die. I don't know what I've been doing with my life all these years.
===
As soon as that boy grows up, he'll never love you the way you loved him. And when he gets married, they'll squeeze you out. You've got to think about your own future.

j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2016

But why did you buy them for me?
-In a word, your stockings had holes.
But the holes in my stockings don't bother your legs.
===
His lips are always moving, but he's just hot air inside.
===
No matter how hard I try, I can't remember a thing I've done in that office over the last thirty years.
===
Why are you quitting?
-Boredom. It's killing me. Each day is as predictable as the last. Nothing new ever happens.
===
I realize what they say about the nobility of misfortune is true. Because misfortune teaches us the truth. Your cancer has opened your eyes o your own life. We humans are so careless. We only realize how beautiful life is when we chance upon death. But few of us are actually able to face death. The worst ones know nothing of life 'til they die.

j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2016

My mom gives me the same kind of line sometimes. "The things I've suffered for you. " And I'm grateful she had me. But it's not my fault I was born.
===
I did it all for my son's sake. But as it turned out, my son doesn't seem to give a whit.
===
Sea Slug?
-Can you guess? Someone who's slippery and evasive. Ohno-san, the sub-section chief.
Sea Slug... indeed.
-Ditch-cover-board, damp and soggy all year round.
Would that be Ohbara?
-Bingo! Next comes Flypaper.
Flypaper?
-You know, sticks to everything.
Get it? Noguchi-san.
-Next is Saito-san, the manager. See if you can guess his nickname.
Saito, huh. Saito would be... Saito's main feature is that he's so featureless. I don't really know...
-Daily Special.
Daily special?
-At the cafeteria.
Then what about Kimura?
-Rice noodles, always timid and trembling. Say, I had a nickname for you, too. But I'm not going to tell, 'cause I had you all wrong.

j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2016

The thing is, there's something I'd like to tell you. I know I should have told you sooner, but it's not very pleasant business.
-Father, let's drop it. You see, I discussed it with Uncle today, and we have to address this to avoid complications later. For instance, we have our rights as your heirs. To avoid misunderstandings...
Mitsuo!
-Fact is, she's fleeced you out of 50,000 yen in a few days. Young girls these days...
What are you...
-Father, we respect your right to freedom of expression. We accept your degenerate behavior.
But we do have some basic conditions. Think of Kazue or, putting her aside, of her family back home. How dare you bring a woman like that home. And holding hands with her in your room. I could hardly face the maid.

j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2016

But all I do is work and eat...
- And what else?
That's all. I mean it. All I do is make these little things. Even making these is so much fun.
Making them, I feel like I'm playing with every baby in Japan. Why don't you try making something too?
-What can I possibly make at that office?
You're right. It's just impossible to make anything there. So quit and go...
-It's too late. ... It's not too late. No, it's not impossible. I know I can do something there. I just have to find the will. There is something I can do...

j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2016

In the last 30 years, I'd all but forgotten about sunsets. But I haven't got time for this now.
===
Watanabe certainly went to great pains to make that park. I take my hat off to his passion.
But all his efforts were in the context of his office. The idea that he went beyond the scope of his office to facilitate citizens' desires, and actually made the park himself, is nonsensical to those who understand our bureaucracy.
-I'm sure Watanabe himself is wincing.
However, given that such rumors are surfacing, perhaps we may have been remiss.
===
Now I see. Knowing he didn't have long left to live... It makes everything clear as day. Otherwise, it makes no... Well, that explains his extraordinary passion and his outrageous behavior.
===
It reminds me of seeing him at that construction site. How can I put it? The way he gazed out over the site, like a father or grandfather tenderly watching a favorite child...

j
jimg2000
Dec 01, 2016

You're not supposed to do anything there. Doing anything but nothing is radical. We have to act like we're doing something but do nothing.
-That's right. That's exactly right.
The thing is, in order to clean up a garbage can somewhere, you need a garbage can full of paperwork.
===
Life is brief
Fall in love, maidens
Before the crimson bloom
Fades from your lips
Before the tides of passion
Cool within you
For those of you
Who know no tomorrow
Life is brief
Fall in love, maidens
Before your raven tresses
Begin to fade
Before the flames in your hearts
Flicker and die
For those to whom
Today will never return
That's the spirit, man.
Life is brief
===
Ohara-san, even within a system where you can't get a thing done, and battling stomach cancer at that, Watanabe-san managed to accomplish so much.

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