Ikiru

( 16 )

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. ...
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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.
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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
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/6/2004
  • UPC: 037429180525
  • Original Release: 1952
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 2:23:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 25,061

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
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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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Menu

Side #1 -- Movie
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Commentary
      Steohen Prince, Author of The Warrior's Camer: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa: On
      Steohen Prince, Author of The Warrior's Camer: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa: Off
   Trailer
   Subtitles
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
Side #2 -- Supplements
   A Message from Akira Kurosawa
      Play
   Akira Kurosawa: It's Wonderful to Create
      Play
   Subtitles
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2010

    This "art" movie is also great for general audiences

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Masterfully Performed and Directed!

    This movie is breath-taking. Akira Kurosawa is a true mastermind. I feel that I am a better person for having watched this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!

    Watch this film to see a true masterpiece. This is a brillant film and very moving. Akira Kurosawa was a genius...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2003

    This movie makes me glad to be alive.

    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.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    What a rare Movie----This to me is One of Kirosawas best films.

    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.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is one of the greatest films ever made

    Words cannot do this film justice. Just buy the film.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 1, 2009

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    Posted July 24, 2010

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    Posted November 7, 2008

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    Posted July 14, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2010

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    Posted September 29, 2009

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    Posted November 9, 2008

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    Posted October 13, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2011

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews