×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ikiru

Director Akira Kurosawa, known for Rashomon and The Seven Samurai, here unspools a work of compassion.

With:
Takashi Shimura Nobuo Kaneko Kyoko Seki Miki Odagiri Makoto Kobori Yunosuke Ito

Director Akira Kurosawa, known for Rashomon and The Seven Samurai, here unspools a work of compassion.

An ordinary white collar worker (Takashi Shimura), an aging head of a public work’s bureau, finds he has cancer and a few months to live. He tells nobody but finds that he is really alone and estranged from his son and daughter-in-law. He suddenly sees that his life has been dull and useless, wasted in an office from which he has not been absent in 30 years.

He draws out his money and goes out into the Tokyo night. He meets a deadbeat poet in whom he confides. They go out on the town.

He goes home where his uncomprehending son (Nobuo Kaneko) reproaches him. Meeting one of his office girls (Miki Odagiri) he finds her new job, that of making toys for children, gives him a sudden goal. He pushes a needed children’s playground through all the bureaucratic red tape.

Half of the film is told in the third person and half is his sacrifice as seen through the eyes of guests at his funeral. Kurosawa performs a tour-de-force in keeping a dramatic thread throughout and avoiding the mawkish. It is technically excellent with a telling Occidental-type musical score.

Ikiru

Japan

Production: Toho. Director Akira Kurosawa; Producer Shojiro Motoki; Screenplay Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni, Akira Kurosawa; Camera Asakazu Nakai; Editor Akira Kurosawa; Music Fumio Hayasaka; Art Director So Matsuyama

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1952. Running time: 143 MIN.

With: Takashi Shimura Nobuo Kaneko Kyoko Seki Miki Odagiri Makoto Kobori Yunosuke Ito

More Film

  • Aaron Paul attends the 2019 Sun

    Aaron Paul, Chelsea Handler and Meg Ryan Topline Sun Valley Film Fest

    Aaron Paul is an Idaho boy at heart. The three-time Emmy winning star of “Breaking Bad” and producer and actor on Nickelodeon’s bawdy, subversive animated series “Bojack Horseman” currently makes his home in Los Angeles, but Paul was born in Emmett, a sleepy city about 30 miles outside of Boise, and escapes to the spud [...]

  • Writers Guild Blasts CAA, WME for

    Writers Guild Blasts Talent Agencies CAA, WME for 'Soaring' Profits

    The Writers Guild of America has singled out Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency, for allegedly soaring profits. The WGA, in an acrimonious negotiation over proposed new rules about how agencies represent writers, issued a report called “agencies for sale” on Monday morning — a few hours before a fifth [...]

  • MGM logo

    MGM Hires Robert Marick to Expand Consumer Products

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer has hired industry veteran Robert Marick as executive VP of global consumer products and experiences. In his new role, Marick is responsible for overseeing the expansion of MGM’s traditional merchandise, interactive and consumer products business. He’s also developing a global strategy with a focus on core consumer products licensing, digital and gaming, [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Personal Tales From Hong Kong, China

    Personal Tales From Hong Kong and China Among the Asia Film Financing Forum Projects

    A brace of personal tales from China and Hong Kong are among the 23 projects vying for attention at the 17th Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. Liu Miaomiao is a rare female ethnic Hui Muslim filmmaker. She came to international prominence with 1993’s “Chatterbox” that won the President of the Italian Senate’s Gold Medal [...]

  • Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year

    Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year She Takes Risks in Her Film Choices

    Josie Ho vows to master the art of calculated risk in the year 2019. As an actress and film producer, she is conscious of the choices of projects she makes: appearing in the new film by Japanese hotshot director Shinichiro Ueda, producing a new documentary feature while developing some 10 titles in the pipeline of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content