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Dodes'ka-Den

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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(Mar 17, 2009)
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$22.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

By turns tragic and transcendent, Akira Kurosawa s Dodes'ka-den follows the daily lives of a group of people barely scraping by in a slum on the outskirts of Tokyo. Yet as desperate as their circumstances are, each of them--the homeless father and son envisioning their dream house; the young woman abused by her uncle; the boy who imagines himself a trolley conductor--finds reasons to carry on. Kurosawa's unforgettable film was made at a tumultuous moment in his life. And all of his hopes, fears, and artistic passion are on fervent display in this, his gloriously shot first color film.
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
Theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film historian Stephen Prince and a new interview with Nogami

Review

A masterpiece. Embraces mankind in all its strength and folly, love and hatred, comedy and tragedy. --Los Angeles Times

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O549G6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,746 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dodes'ka-Den" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on January 1, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
If I were living like any of the people of the Tokyo slums in Akira Kurosawa's first colour film, Dodes'ka-den, like them, I'd be living in illusion and imagination to counter the squalid conditions. Living for them, but in my case, it'd be drowning. That's the premise of this movie, a testament to the human spirit and how it keeps on going despite adversity.
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 ›
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Format: DVD
I remember seeing this movie on TV a while back and always wanting to watch it again, but found it too hard to find. I don't like how underrated this movie is. Sure its not as good as Kurosawa's masterpieces like Seven Samurai, Rashomon, and Ran (what movies are?) but it still deserves attention, as it is a great film nonetheless. Like a Yasujiro Ozu film (Floating Weeds, A Tokyo Story) this movie has a pretty simple story and characters, but deep emotions. I finally got my hands on the import DVD and its better than I even remember it. When I heard that this movie has been shaved off 100 minutes and the complete, uncut edition can't be found anywhere, I was kinda depressed. I mean, this is already a great film, but with those extra 100 minutes, (if they were really good!), could have rivaled Seven Samurai, Rashomon, and Ran as Kurosawa's masterpiece. But I guess we'll never know unless some DVD company (cough, cough... Criterion Collection) can find the original negative and give us the complete edition on DVD. How sad... a great movie like this being a box office failure, it deserves so much better than this. No wonder Kurosawa attempted suicide! Oh, well, this movie is fine as it is and still great in its cut version. I just really hope I can see the complete version someday! If you are a Kurosawa fan, you should still buy this movie! (don't be turned off at the fact that this was a commercial, financial, and box office failure!)
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Kurosawa's first color film originally came in at 244 minutes and the studio executives were aghast. They quickly cut it to about 140 minutes and reportedly destroyed the original negative in so doing. This along with the lack of public and critical acceptance at the time drove the great genius to a suicide attempt. In it's original form it could well have been Kurosawa's great masterpiece. As it is, it's a little quixotic and hard to follow, but a stunning piece of movie making. The children's train drawings shown during the prayer scenes were collected by Kurosawa from children all over Japan for this film. It is pointless to recap the story, but I just say to you see it and you'll never forget it. Perhaps Criterion could find the orignal version when it comes out on DVD, let's hope so!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 this movie held our interest. It is somewhat of a surrealistic movie. The squalor that these people live in can be funny and desperate. Make sure you look at the extras and the interviews from some of the cast members & Kurosawa. It helps explain alot about the film. It also shows how Kurosawa had to paint backgrounds and also shows his artistic skills with the paintbrush - very interesting. People has criticized this film about it being disjointed but I didn't feel that. Each story is a story-in-itself with a brief interconnection to the rest of the cast. The actors are great. It can be a slow movie for those who expect alot of action but just give it time - it will develop. I saw this movie a couple of days ago and I can't stop thinking about it. I really haven't experienced this before. It is a beautiful film. To me, it is like viewing a Van Gogh painting (which I have only experienced in a book, unfortunately) and thinking about its impact later. This movie has everything: comedy, tragedy, love. Real complex situations. I have seen alot of Akira's movies and I put this in my top three movies. Here's the thing, though, if you can't understand it or get bored don't give up. Come back to it another time. It might have more impact. It took me a few times to sit through 2001 Space Odyssey but once I did I loved it. I watched it at night with nobody around - no interruptions. It was amazing. You might have to do that with this one. It probably isn't wise to leave the room or talk with people because you will miss all the nuances on the characters. By the way, Dodes'Ka-Den is an onomatopoeia.Read more ›
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