10 ans après la guerre, le Japon industrieux se relève, restant fortement traumatisé par le nucléaire.
Un homme de pouvoir à l'automne de sa vie voit ses proches - enfants naturels et légitimes, maîtresses et épouse - se déchirer autour de ses dernières volontés et décisions, jusqu'à l'anéantir.
Kurosawa filme avec intelligence et sensibilité, Mifune joue dans l'excès. La peur de l'atome s'est heureusement éloignée.
Perhaps it was the topical nature of this film that led to its "failure" (a Kurosawa flop isn't quite the same as "Freddy Got Fingered"). Yet watching it during this time of nuclear crisis in post-tsunami Japan makes it eerily oracular and relevant nearly 60 years later. The Japanese title, "A Record of Living Beings" does a better job of encapsulating this social drama. Mifune astonishes as the elderly patriarch.
DVD projection. The impassibility of Kurosawa's camera in this film is simultaneously a possibility of a self-effacing look before the subject and also the pacification of a consistent state of paranoia that, after all, finds it's only figuration in its protagonist's exaggerated and uninteresting interpretation. The last frame is beautiful and presents a dramatic camera that had little existence before.
Despite being a flop when it first came out, I often think this is one the most accomplished non-period dramas Kurosawa made in his career, because it avoids the cloying elements that plagued his previous and then some of his post-90's works, while at the same giving a more than justified portrait of one of the major threats lurking down Japan at the time.
I'd like to start by saying Mifune is amazing in everything he does and this is especially true here. Although the film might be a little uneven in the beginning, I must admit that it turned out to be another Kurosawa masterpiece. Its amazing how one man could create so many wonderful pieces of art.
Very interesting companion with Resnais' "Hiroshima, Mon Amour", being that I inadvertently watched them back-to-back. Resnais was much more poetic, in a Malick sorta way, which is a big deal considering the awful images. Kurosawa was very straight forward, very harsh, but very empathetic. Both very claustrophobic, and at times suffocating.
A slow burn at first, this final post-war Kurosawa film is as much Mifune's film as it is the director's. Mifune is outstanding w/ his physical performance that sells the age & anxiety of a man trying to look out for his family but struggling against his selfish desires. You're sympathetic & upset, but that's Kurosawa's balance of both sides in a country recovering from war. A great film to see w/ Take Shelter.