×
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.

Popular on Variety

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

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content