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Dodes'ka-Den

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Overview

Dodes'ka-Den aka Dodesukaden was Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's first project since Red Beard 1965, and his first ever in color. Kurosawa focuses this time on Tokyo slum life. We watch as a variety of unfortunates debase themselves to survive, yet, somehow, emerge with more innate dignity than the so-called "better" people. While it seems inconceivable that Dodes'ka-Den would fail at the box office, fail it did upon its original release. The Japanese distributors hastily pared down the film's 244 minutes to ...
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Overview

Dodes'ka-Den aka Dodesukaden was Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's first project since Red Beard 1965, and his first ever in color. Kurosawa focuses this time on Tokyo slum life. We watch as a variety of unfortunates debase themselves to survive, yet, somehow, emerge with more innate dignity than the so-called "better" people. While it seems inconceivable that Dodes'ka-Den would fail at the box office, fail it did upon its original release. The Japanese distributors hastily pared down the film's 244 minutes to 140 unfortunately destroying the original negative in the process, but this version also came a cropper. It was the negative reaction to Dodes'ka-Den, which allegedly prompted Kurosawa to attempt suicide. Happily, he survived to reclaim his industry stature with 1976's Dersu Uzala.
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Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful To Create, a 36-minute documentary, created as part o fthe Toho Masterworks series, about the making of Dodes'ka-den, including interviews with director Akira Kurosawa, script supervisor Teruyo Nogami, actor Yoshitaka Zushi, and other members of the cast and crew; Theatrical trailer; New and improved English subtitle translation; Plus: a booklet featuring new essay by film historian Stephen Prince and a new interview with Nogami
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Even if the only available version of Akira Kurosawa's underrated drama of life in a city slum is a truncated one, the film's episodic structure doesn't noticeably suffer from severe editing the way a tightly woven narrative would. If nothing else, Dodes'ka-Den would be important as the master's first film in color; for Kurosawa, the decision wasn't taken casually. To reflect the moods of his cast of struggling characters, he alters the colors of the sky which shelters them. The obvious link to a previous Kurosawa film is his 1957 version of Maxim Gorky's The Lower Depths, if only for its portrayal of people at the lowest rung of society. But by the late '60s, Kurosawa was clearly in a more hopeful mood, infusing many of this film's potentially downbeat situations with elements of optimism. It's a bitter irony that negative public reaction to such a film resulted in Kurosawa's nearly ending his life. Had his career ended with this film, it would have concluded on a work of middle rank; even so, that places Dodes'ka-Den high above the entire output of most other filmmakers.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/17/2009
  • UPC: 715515042918
  • Original Release: 1970
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 2:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 14,310

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Yoshitaka Zushi Rokkuchan
Kin Sugai Rokkuchan's Mother
Toshiyuki Tonomura Taro Sawagami
Jitsuko Yoshimura Yoshie Kawaguchi
Hideko Okiyama Masuda's Wife
Tatsuo Matsumara Kyota Watanaka
Kazuo Kato Painter
Junzaburo Ban Yukichi Shima
Kiyoko Tange Mrs. Shima
Hisashi Igawa Masuo Masuda
Kunie Tanaka Hatsutaro Kawaguchi
Koji Mitsui Bartender
Yuko Kusunoki Misao Sawagami
Atsushi Watanabe Tamba
Tomoko Yamazaki Kyota's Step Daughter
Noboru Mitani Beggar
Hiroyuki Kawase Beggar's Son
Hiroshi Akutagawa Hei
Akemi Negishi Girl
Shoichi Kuwayama Cook
Kamatari Fujiwara Old Man
Technical Credits
Akira Kurosawa Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Yasumichi Fukuzawa Cinematographer
Shinobu Hashimoto Screenwriter
Kon Ichikawa Producer
Keisuke Kinoshita Producer
Masaki Kobayashi Producer
Shinobu Muraki Production Designer
Yoshiro Muraki Art Director, Production Designer
Hideo Oguni Screenwriter
Takao Saito Cinematographer
Toru Takemitsu Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Dodes'ka-Den
1. Opening Credits [2:02]
2. Rokuchan [5:05]
3. Trolley Run to Tanba's [7:18]
4. Red, Yellow, and Shima [3:55]
5. The Sawagamis [2:14]
6. Katsuko and Her Uncle [4:48]
7. Building a Dream House [3:59]
8. Tale Of Hei [4:32]
9. Swapping Mates [6:37]
10. Beggar's Banquet [6:10]
11. "The Money Is Over Here" [2:59]
12. "Dodes'ka-den" [5:10]
13. Ocho's Return [7:35]
14. Rainy-Day Visions [4:46]
15. "Eating For Two" [2:36]
16. Tricks Of the Trade [7:27]
17. Angels and Demons [6:56]
18. Ryo's Children [3:54]
19. Katsuko's Aunt Returns [3:23]
20. Defending Mrs. Shima [8:43]
21. Ocho's Plea [3:37]
22. Pride [5:29]
23. Aches and Pains [4:53]
24. "No Longer a Tree" [4:06]
25. Kyota Confronted [3:27]
26. Drunk As Usual [6:02]
27. "The Worst Is Over" [3:27]
28. The Swimming Pool [4:50]
29. All In a Day's Work [3:48]
30. Color Bars [:00]
1. The Runaway Train [5:28]
2. Tora! Tora! Tora! [5:54]
3. Dodes'ka-den [5:04]
4. "Ready, Action!" [3:15]
5. First Color Film [4:36]
6. New Troupe of Actors [2:57]
7. Shima's Scene [5:17]
8. Kagemusha and Langlois [3:47]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Dodes'ka-Den
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Trailer
   Subtitles
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
   Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful To Create
      Play
      Index
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A heartbreaking, compasionate masterpiece

    I watched this movie years ago, which does affect my review, as the details are not so fresh in my mind. Yet, this movie left a strong mark all this time; it is one of the best movies ever made (and I have seen many). Like Ikiru, another masterpiece by Kurosawa, it is an understated study of dignity and human character. It is one of these art pieces that elicits a huge sense of compassion towards the human race.
    The movie depicts the lives of residents of a down and out neighbourhood in Tokyo. The characters maintain fragile livelihoods in a rigid society, striving to maintain dignity through various actions, real or imaginary.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews