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IKIRU

Doomed aka Living/To Live
1952

Takashi Shimura

directed by
Akira Kurosawa

As I like most of Kurosawa's work so much, it becomes difficult to express my admiration for those that I love even more. Ikiru is among those, and not only because of the marvelous performance given by Takashi Shimura, with Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune one of the three greatest actors Kurosawa worked with. Shimura was in virtually all Kurosawa movies until Akahige/Redbeard. (He's also in Godzilla)



Shimura plays a very petty official who just acts out a lonely daily routine. But when he hears he has cancer and will die in 6 months, he starts to work for a playground for children. He finally succeeds after a Kafkaesque fight with officialdom and burocracy. The end sequence has him sitting on a swing, in the falling snow, absolutely happy and singing this very moving and touching song:

Life is so short,
Fall in love, dear maiden,
While your lips are still red
And before you are cold,
For there will be no tomorrow.

Life is so short,
Fall in love, dear maiden,
While your hair is still black,
And before your heart withers,
For today will not come again.



make a dream come true


famous Toho rain machine in action


Credits:

Cast:

producer
screenplay


photography
art director
lighting
Sound recording
music by
Shojiro Motoki
Shinobu Hashimoto
Hideo Oguni
Akira Kurosawa
Asakazu Nakai
So Matsuyama
Shigeru Mori
Fumio Yanoguchi
Fumbio Hayasaka
Kanji Watanabe
—Chief, Citizens' Section
Mitsuo Watanabe, His Son
Kazue Watanabe, Mitsuo's Wife
Kiichi Watanabe
—Kanji's Elder Brother
Tatsu Watanabe, Kuchi's Wife
The Maid
Toyo Odagiri
—The Girl In Watanabe's Office
Ono, Sub-Section Chief
Saito, Subordinate Clerk
Sakai, Assistant
Ohara, Assistant
Kimura, Assistant
Takashi Shimura

Nobuo Kaneko
Kyoko Seki
Makoto Kobori

Kumeko Urabe
Yoshie Minami
Miki Odagiri

Kamatari Fujiwara
Minosuke Yamada
Haruo Tanaka
Bokuzen Hidari
Shinichi Himori

Toho Co. Ltd.
Produced by Toho
Japan 1952

143 minutes, B/W, Academy screen


Ikiru
Thoughtful tale from Akira Kurosawa about a petty bureaucrat who, after he learns he has terminal cancer, tries to set his life in order and searches for the meaning of his existence. Takashi Shimura stars in this haunting, inspiring drama.
Academy 1.33:1
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