Saturday, November 01, 2003

IKIRU, one of my favorite Akira Kurosawa films is finally coming to Criterion DVD. Technically, a DVD of it is already available from Mei-Ah but the transfer isn't very good and the translation is terrible. This new edition of it is far superior with a new high definition transfer, audio commentary by Kurosawa author Stephen Prince, two documentaries about Kurosawa and the making of Ikiru and best of all, a translation that I have no doubt makes far better sense.

It stars Takashi Shimura, the head samurai in Seven Samurai, and he's my favorite Kurosawa actor after Toshiro Mifune. Ilyn doesn't like this movie because she feels that the character played by Shimura is just too pathetic to feel any sympathy for. And to an extent I agree. Shimura's character was indeed really pathetic for more than half of this movie, but what he does towards the end more than redeems him in my eyes. I find Ikiru to be a very human, very moving story. You most likely will find it boring if you are an action junkie and are expecting another Seven Samurai or Yojimbo, but successfully pulling off a quiet contemplative piece like Ikiru, Kurosawa proves he's no one trick pony.