Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $5.51 shipping
+ $5.99 shipping
Ikiru (the Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
|List Price:||$39.95 Details|
|With Deal:||$29.32 & FREE Returns|
|You Save:||$10.63 (27%)|
Enhance your purchase
Frequently bought together
One of the greatest achievements by Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai), Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of death. Takashi Shimura (Rashomon) beautifully portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer who is impelled to find meaning in his final days. Presented in a radically conceived two-part structure and shot with a perceptive, humanistic clarity of vision, Ikiru is a multifaceted look at what it means to be alive. Blu-Ray special edition features • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack • Audio commentary from 2004 by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa • A Message from Akira Kurosawa (2000), a ninety-minute documentary produced by Kurosawa Productions and featuring interviews with Kurosawa • Documentary on Ikiru from 2003, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create, and featuring interviews with Kurosawa, script supervisor Teruyo Nogami, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and others • Trailer • Essays by critic and travel writer Pico Iyer and critic Donald Richie.
- Aspect Ratio : 1.37:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : 35221442
- Director : Akira Kurosawa
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
- Run time : 2 hours and 23 minutes
- Release date : November 24, 2015
- Actors : Takashi Shimura
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : Criterion Collection (Direct)
- ASIN : B0141RBHTU
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,400 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
We often don’t expect much from old films, the acting is theatrical and unnatural by today’s standards, the pacing and editing are a lot slower than we’re used to, and the stories often hinge on some outdated notions about race, sexuality, or gender which (for me at least) hinder whatever entertainment might be had. Imagine my surprise then at being utterly floored by this seventy year old subtitled film, I guess my dude Kurosawa had some skills after all.
Smarter people than me have written yards of intelligent things about Ikiru, and I’m sure that some of what they say is even legitimate, but the truth is I don’t really care about any of that. I only care that I’m not bored or annoyed by a movie, that it actively tries to engage me, and that it strives to tells its story well. Whatever else one might say about Ikiru, it more than succeeds on all those fronts, pulling you in to Watanabe’s journey right from the first frame. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, poetic, devoid of easy sentiment or answers, features some truly astonishing acting- quite simply Ikiru is a marvel. Maybe it’s the paucity of new movies talking, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I watched it.
On a side note, I rarely cry at films- and when I do it’s almost always when I watch a touchstone movie from my childhood, like E.T. or The Iron Giant, and even then I’m not crying because of the movie, I’m really crying for my lost inner snowflake or whatever. Well I was a snotty mess at the end of this film, bawling my eyes out like a toddler crying for it’s bottle. See this movie. You will not regret it!
fall in love, maidens
before the crimson bloom
fades from your lips
before the tides of passion
cool within you,
for those of you
who know no tomorrow
life is brief
fall in love, maidens
before his hands
take up his boat
before the flush of his cheeks fades
for those of you
who will never return here
life is brief
fall in love, maidens
before the boat drifts away
on the waves
before the hand resting on your shoulder
for those who will never
be seen here again
life is brief
fall in love, maidens
before the raven tresses
begin to fade
before the flame in your hearts
flicker and die
for those to whom today
will never return
What makes life meaningful? What does it mean to live--- "ikiru"-- in Japanese?
Incredibly touching, this movie might just change your life. Watch it---you will not be sorry.
Initiated with an x-ray of Watanabe’s stomach and an exclamation of his looming misfortune: there is no interest here in hoarding surprises, nor does ‘Ikiru’ award itself with any room for optimistic plot twists. A tad unorthodox with its depths of honesty - and by some measures, rushed - a certainty of death informally exonerates Kanji from his immediate responsibilities and lingering tethers.
This x-ray may be clear enough, but this primary character stays largely mysterious during Ikiru’s primary act. Viewers are reminded persistently about his complacency in terms of his mortality - "𝑯𝒆'𝒔 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒅" - and the impression delivered is that there's little about his existence that is remarkable or escapes tediousness outside of a significant loss and his role as a paternal figure. Through flashbacks and vignettes of interactions that inch on being dramatically ironic it is made clear that much of his worth is tied closely to his financial status while it is simultaneously implied that he is very easily replaced (hold that thought). It doesn't surprise me that the view audience members have of Watanabe is originally obscured beyond repair: what else can we expect from a man isolated and so far removed from the understanding he has of himself?
At surface level ‘Ikiru’ seems to have a completely anti-bureaucratic message, but I'm actually not fully convinced that this is Kurosawa’s intention. If I could vacate this review for a moment (and be humored), I have an analogy to interject.
As I watch the interactions taking place in Watanabe’s place of occupancy (More specifically, one in which a group of women voice their frustrations over being given “the run-around”) I find myself looking back on a majority of the interactions I have ever had previously with any institution involving Public Welfare. These offices? They're chaotic. But they have an order. The work? Endless. Moments of relief? They never last. Employees? There's plenty. But there's never enough…. and they often come in three flavors: newly-hired, almost retired, and nearly expired. There's a hierarchy. But there's not. There's goals. There's hidden agendas. For every five failures or hiccups…. there's at least one opportunity for success.
And even when there isn't an opportunity for success: there is a way to make a living.
My point here being this: It’s likely that Kurosawa doesn’t mean to villainize any one character in this film or aimlessly demonize the system in which they are involved. These bureaucrats - including our main character - are akin to cogs inside of a poorly maintained machine; the 𝒑𝒐𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒍 they have to operate efficiently or beneficially is often constrained and compromised by a combination of forces (greed and procedural shortcomings being at least two) as opposed to one being solely responsible.
Even during the climax - a conversation in which Watanabe’s co-workers obsessively pull apart his motives - this tendency seems to drive much of the dialogue. There is a desire to point fingers. There is a desire to take credit. All the while - our main character's quest for meaning is made possible through an ultimately and intimately 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 effort even if it does start as an assumedly solitary one. Moreover - these bureaucrats get closer to making sense of their deceased co-workers “bizarre behavior” the further they sink into an alcoholic stupor and thus temporarily suspending the rigid nature of their mundane and ritualistically performative realities.
I think not.
On paper ‘Ikiru’ Is a bit of a sob story. An entourage of self-pity avoids being insufferable by an infusion of elements reminiscent of redemption. In the final minutes spent with Watanabe he lulls himself to rest with a ballad inspired by the fleeting nature of youth.
In this moment I imagine a caterpillar entering the next stage of its life.
Here is a man peacefully folding under the weight of reformation.
Here is a man anticipating a moment defined by the ability to take flight.
Top reviews from other countries
Of course, at the centre of Ikiru is a bravura performance from Kurosawa-regular Shimura, whose sudden realisation of his own mortality drives him, first, in search of some short-term hedonism and then later to seek some form of personal 'lasting' redemption. Shimura`s turn here is mesmerising and moving (the man's eyes staring straight to camera create an unforgettable image) as he is gradually transformed from a fawning, 'manner-driven', regretful 'bean-counter' mired in a job of government bureaucracy to a determined 'doer', who will let nothing (and no-one) stand in the way of his final ambition (the construction of a new children's playground - a proposal initially frustrated by his own government department). Along the way Kurosawa caustically satirises Watanabe's society - from the government 'wastrels' passing papers (and the buck) between departments in order to avoid responsibility (an environment which Watanabe has tolerated for 30 years), the scheming, glory-seeking deputy mayor (superbly played by Nobuo Nakamura), the cowardly, misdiagnosing hospital doctors, Watanabe's uncaring and mercenary son and daughter-in-law and even the (ultimately craven) organised criminals who attempt to scupper the 'liberated bureaucrat's` playground plan.
Throughout, Kurosawa's eye for perceptive social detail is unfailing. Watanabe's encounters with the two 'positive' characters, Ito's Writer and Miki Odagiri's kindly young (ex-)co-worker, Toyo, are brilliantly observed - the former an irrepressibly positive philosopher, who warns Watanabe against chasing 'loose' women ('These girls are the greediest of all mammals') and whose encounter includes Watanabe's memorable and moving night-club rendition of an old romantic song, and the latter, whose bubbly personality and friendliness (for example, during the endearing scene in which she tells Watanabe about the nicknames ascribed to his work colleagues, including his, The Mummy) allows her to, at least temporarily, overcome her embarrassment at being seen 'socialising' with 'an old man'.
The other masterstroke Kurosawa employed for Ikiru was his idea for the film's final 40 or so minutes - an extended wake for Watanabe, after his passing, at which a gathering of family and work associates (including the deputy mayor) reflect on the deceased's achievements during the final stages of his life. This satirical exchange is almost Bunuelian in its sense of surreal parody, as the attendees, increasingly drunk and tearful, modify their perceptions of their erstwhile colleague (via a series of flashbacks revealing the true course of events) from 'interfering busybody' to an iconic and heroic figure that all should attempt to emulate. That Kurosawa makes it clear that no such thing is likely to follow as Watanabe's co-workers return to their 'old ways', whilst we are left with the sight of the 'newly redeemed' swinging (on a child's swing) amidst the falling snow in memorable self-satisfaction, provides a poignant, if resignedly realistic, ending to one of the great films of Japanese cinema.