Ikiru

Ikiru

4.6 16
Director: Akira Kurosawa, Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Kyoko Seki

Cast: Akira Kurosawa, Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Kyoko Seki

     
 

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Akira Kurosawa's masterful drama of a man who learns to appreciate life as he hovers at the brink of death is given a quality presentation on DVD in this release from The Criterion Collection. Ikiru has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in Japanese,

Overview

Akira Kurosawa's masterful drama of a man who learns to appreciate life as he hovers at the brink of death is given a quality presentation on DVD in this release from The Criterion Collection. Ikiru has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in Japanese, with optional English-language subtitles. The feature is accompanied by an alternate audio commentary from author and Kurosawa biographer Stephen Prince. Other bonus materials include a feature-length documentary on Akira Kurosawa, a look at the making of Ikiru, and the film's original trailer.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
This contemporary drama from Akira Kurosawa, better known for such sweeping samurai epics as The Seven Samurai (1954), is arguably his best film and the most articulate vision of his existential philosophy. The film's protagonist seems to spring directly from the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre or Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych: a tragic, pathetic figure who has so immersed himself in daily routine that he never learned to live. Only when confronted with his own imminent demise does he give his live meaning by building a playground over an open sewer in an impoverished section of town. The film is structured in a peculiar bifurcated arrangement: it begins as a straightforward plot that, halfway through, shifts into a fragmented narrative recounted in flashbacks by mourners at Watanabe's funeral. In the second half, we witness Watanabe's dogged struggle through the lenses of his baffled co-workers' own unexamined lives. Initially viewing his efforts with suspicion if not contempt, his workers fail to give Watanabe any credit for his single-handed effort to build the park. This section of Ikiru becomes compelling and ironic thanks to Kurosawa's deft depiction of Watanabe's inner state in the first half. Ikiru opens with an X-ray of Watanabe-a literal manifestation of his interior world. The rest of the section, through a tour-de-force of impressionistic and expressionistic cinematic devices, shows Watanabe's slow awakening from his quarter-century stupor to learn what it is to live. Takeshi Shimura delivers a staggering performance as Watanabe; his large pleading eyes and hangdog face burn a haunting image in the viewer's mind long after the film ends. The emotional force of Ikiru leaves the viewer feeling both transformed by Watanabe's evolution and contemplative about one's own life.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/06/2004
UPC:
0037429180525
Original Release:
1952
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
2:23:00
Sales rank:
48,777

Special Features

New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound; Audio commentary by Stephen Prince, author of "The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa"; Original theatrical trailer; New and improved English subtitle translation; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition; "A Message from Akira Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies" (2000): An 81-minute documentary produced by Kurosawa Production Inc., featuring interviews with the director on the sets of his later films ; A 41-minute documentary on Ikiru from the series "Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create," including interviews with Kurosawa, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and many others

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Takashi Shimura Kanji Watanabe
Nobuo Kaneko Mitsuo Watanabe
Kyoko Seki Kazue Watanabe
Miki Odagiri Toyo Odagiri
Makoto Kobori Kiighi Watanabe
Yunosuke Ito Novelist
Kasuo Abe City Assemblyman
Saito Subordinate Clerk
Sakai Assistant
Minosuke Yamada Saito
Toranosuke Ogawa Park Section Chief
Kumeko Urabe Tatsu Watanabe
Yoshie Minami Hayoshi, the Maid
Kamatari Fujiwara Ono, Office under-chief
Haruo Tanaka Sakai
Bokuzen Hidari Ohara
Minoru Chiaki Noguchi
Nobuo Nakamura Deputy Mayor
Masao Shimizu Doctor
Ko (Isao) Kimura Intern
Atsushi Watanabe Patient
Fuyuki Murakami Newspaperman
Seiji Miyaguchi Gang Boss
Daisuke Kato Gang Member
Kin Sugai Housewife
Eiko Miyoshi Housewife
Fumiko Homma Housewife
Ichiro Chiba Policeman

Technical Credits
Akira Kurosawa Director,Screenwriter
Shinobu Hashimoto Screenwriter
Fumio Hayasaka Score Composer
So Matsuyama Art Director
Shojiro Motoki Producer
Shinobu Muraki Production Designer
Yoshiro Muraki Production Designer
Asakazu Nakai Cinematographer
Hideo Oguni Screenwriter

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Movie
1. Credits [2:21]
2. The Main Character [4:11]
3. Runaround [3:53]
4. An Unusual Absence [1:29]
5. Amateur Prognosis [3:12]
6. Professional Prognosis [3:08]
7. Home [4:08]
8. Memories [8:01]
9. Whereabouts Unknown [2:42]
10. A Sympathetic Ear [9:43]
11. Night on the Town [14:52]
12. Thirty Years for What? [9:29]
13. An Afternoon Together [3:57]
14. Unwrapping the Mummy [4:47]
15. Father & Son Confrontation [3:31]
16. Last Date with Toyo [10:26]
17. A New Purpose [2:14]
18. Questioning Watanabe's Death [4:15]
19. A Matter of Credit [4:21]
20. Respects Paid [2:19]
21. Making Sense of Watanabe [29:38]
22. The Policeman's Story [7:07]
23. Business as Usual [1:24]
24. Watanabe's Legacy [1:40]
25. Color Bars [:00]

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Ikiru 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why great for the general audience? Lots of breathing space in conversations that allow the viewer to look up from the subtitles and at the faces of the actors. This somewhat up lifting story, is well filmed with lots of great shots that add to the meaning of the story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is breath-taking. Akira Kurosawa is a true mastermind. I feel that I am a better person for having watched this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Watch this film to see a true masterpiece. This is a brillant film and very moving. Akira Kurosawa was a genius...
Guest More than 1 year ago
The ending of Ikiru is one of the most cathartic and life-affirming moments you'll ever witness in film. Takashi Shimura is absolutely brilliant in the leading role. (Caution: If you have an absolutely jaded and cynical view of life, lost all hope for humanity, and live to only serve yourself then you will not like this film. But you should watch it anyway.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a rare Movie----This to me is One of Kirosawas best films. Its a wake up call for all to live their lives now --Accomplish what you want to ---don't wait for tomorrow. Make your life mean something. Some people look at it being a very sad movie --I see it as an enlightening movie though definetly not a comedy. Great Acting/directing/editing. Its a criterion fortunately so we get nice quality movie and great special features.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Words cannot do this film justice. Just buy the film.
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