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SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create, a 36-minute documentary created as part of the Toho Masterworks series, about the making of Dodes'ka-den, including interviews with director Akira Kurosawa, script supervisor Teruyo Nogami, actor Yoshitaka Zushi (who played Rokkuchan), and other members of the cast and crew
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film historian Stephen Prince and a new interview with Nogami
Top Customer Reviews
There's no plot in this film, as it tells of the various people living in the slums, some in coloured tin corrugated roofs, others in dirty, dingy travesties of huts, and in the case of an oddball boy who pretends he's a streetcar conductor and spends all day shuffling to who knows where. He goes through the motions, putting on his cap, pushing the buttons, pulling levers, and muttering the words "Dodes'ka-den." Which leads to the title. It's a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound a train makes on the tracks. Roughly translated, it's like clackety-clack. The smaller kids who see him throw pebbles at him and cry out "trolley crazy."
My favourite characters are the bedraggled derelict and his young son who live in a beaten up, wheelless VW bug. The son goes out at night and gets scraps from a friendly sushi shop man. During the day, the father discusses their dream house, and we see his designs, from the gate, fence, and house, come alive, with dramatic sounds and colour. He must have been an architect or designer, and he escapes his squalid condition by envisioning a dreamhouse. There's a vivid example of colour cinematography at work, when standing under glaring yellow sky, we see the eerie blue light cast on him and his son, ill from food poisoning.
The drunken buddies who swap wives are two of the most colourful, but there's an interesting theme.Read more ›
Since Kurosawa was a master of using the whole frame, this is very good news. I was prepared to live with a pan-and-scan edition; finding that it was letterboxed was a very nice surprise.
Also, according to the IMDB trivia page, the "244-minute original running time" is a myth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most of the reviewers here have seen this film for the poignant masterpiece it is. If it's true that it's neglected that's really too bad, and it flopped in its first release. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Great video for large screen.Lighting,sets and storyline.Arigato Akira Kurosawa.Published 4 months ago by gsp
It's a bit of an odd film, but fantastic to watch. The development of all the stories as the movie progresses is very interesting. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ryan K.
When you read the history behind making this film you wonder if that that would also make an intriguing movie. I have seen this before at a film festival when I was 16. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Chris L-D
Far distant from Japanese images sold worldwide, this work characters struggle daily to merely survive in surrealistic environment of Japanese style urban slumville. Read morePublished on March 26, 2013 by Michael Kerjman
It mystifies me why this film receives so little attention among Kurosawa's oeuvre...it may not be his best gendaigeki, but it's far from his worst. Read morePublished on January 5, 2013 by Boston Sean
Dodes'ka-Den is like a long, slow, beautiful and disturbing dream. It's power lies in its amazingly vibrant visuals, its hallucinatory storylines, and it's primitive emotions. Read morePublished on August 20, 2012 by Ben Abraham
Wow! I wasn't expecting a movie like this from Kurosawa. Really, really different. My wife and I were watching this pretty late in the evening yet we didn't fall asleep because... Read morePublished on December 23, 2011 by Michael L. Sweet
This film simply meanders around in a most depressing manner going exactly nowhere. There is no story other than the unrelenting poverty of its characters. Read morePublished on March 7, 2011 by Daniel E. Coomer