Friday, November 16, 2007


Today is Day 2 of the week-long Kurosawa Blogathon. This is our 3rd film.

Ikiru is, like Rashomon and Sanshiro Sugata, available online. Like Sanshiro Sugata, it has been removed from Why is that?

This is a beautiful and inspiring movie, one I can completely understand earning a place on the list of 100 most spiritually significant films. The Younger Son likes this film, and I do have to admit he hasn't been thrilled with others from the list.

We find out that Watanabe is dying of stomach cancer in the first scene of the film, so no spoilers there. The film is the story of how he comes to terms with the news and how he decides "to live" (the English translation of "ikiru") the time remaining to him. Much of the second 1/2 of the movie is told in flashbacks showing Watanabe's focus in his last months. The question is, "How would you change your life if you knew you had less than a year to live?" This film is Watanabe's answer, and I found his answer an inspiration. Every time the camera looked at Watanabe's picture I smiled. He's my new hero.

We have the Criterion edition of this film and are wondering why it is full screen -if it were letter-boxed the subtitles would be easier to read. We haven't watched any of the special features yet, but I'm particularly interested in the Kurosawa interview.

Ikiru is on Time's list of top 100 films.

Roger Ebert has a review online here. He closes his comments with this:
I saw "Ikiru" first in 1960 or 1961. I went to the movie because it was playing in a campus film series and only cost a quarter. I sat enveloped in the story of Watanabe for 2 1/2 hours, and wrote about it in a class where the essay topic was Socrates' statement, "the unexamined life is not worth living."' Over the years I have seen "Ikiru" every five years or so, and each time it has moved me, and made me think. And the older I get, the less Watanabe seems like a pathetic old man, and the more he seems like every one of us.

Christianity Today has a review here. Only the Cinema reviewed the film for the blogathon.

1001 Flicks has a review.

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