Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa’s greatest achievement, Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of a man’s death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Told in two parts, Ikiru offers Watanabe’s quest in the present, and then through a series of flashbacks. The result is a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives, resulting in a full portrait of a man who lacked understanding from others in life. —The Criterion Collection
The son of an army officer, Kurosawa studied art before gravitating to film as a means of supporting himself. He served seven years as an assistant to director Kajiro Yamamoto before he began his own directorial career with Sanshiro Sugata (1943), a film about the 19th century struggle for supremacy between adherents of judo and jujitsu that so impressed the military government, he was prevailed upon to make a sequel (Sanshiro Sugata Part Two). Following the end of World War II, Kurosawa’s career gathered speed with a series of films that cut across all genres, from crime thrillers to period dramas. Among the latter, his Rashomon (1951) became the first postwar Japanese film to find wide favor with Western audiences. It was Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai (1954), however, that made the largest impact of any of his movies outside of Japan. Although heavily cut for its original release, this three-hour-plus medieval action drama, shot with painstaking… read more
Akira Kurosawa's humanistic masterpiece might very well be my greatest experience with one of the masters of Japanese cinema. It's a film with unrivaled warmth and heart. Containing everything from heart-wrenching scenes, bustling city life, to comical situations and sharp criticism of the bureaucracy, Ikiru somehow portrays it all in well-balanced manner, as we follow the old bureaucrat Kanji Watanabe on his path towards death and his struggle to find some kind of meaning in his empty life.
the message is powerful and shimura is fantastic. favorite scene: the bureaucrat descending behind the pile of paperwork.
" Life is so short / Fall in love, dear maiden / While your lips are still red / And before you are cold, / For there will be no tomorrow. "
Struggente ed intenso avvicinamento alla morte,non solo nell'accettazione ma nel trovare in essa un modo per sistemare le cose,per dare un senso alla vita.Partendo dalla condanna dell'alienazione di un impiegato,Kurosawa crea un'opera immensa,cupa e vivida,che parla di uomini e sentimenti,di paure ed incomunicabilità.La mezz'ora finale ricalca molto Rashomon ed è meravigliosa.Insomma,un capolavoro di umanità.5*
I’m not even sure where to begin to review this deeply moving piece of art. I can’t describe to you the story without revealing parts that you really should discover for yourself. You take this journey… read review