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Ikiru (1956)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Akira Kurosawa film historian Stephen Prince Rating:8.0/10 (16 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Tekker on October 18th, 2006:Find all reviews by Tekker
This commentary is the cream of da crop, and must rate as the most informative ever. You basically gets to know all there is about Kurosawa and post-war Japan.
Reviewed by grimjack on February 13th, 2022:Find all reviews by grimjack
Prince is detailed, and not just pointing out amazing camera techniques, things common or unique to Kurosawa, but spends a lot of time discussing the meaning of the film. Its influences. What philosophical ideas are being explained here. The way the direction and editing adds to the script.

He is a little low key, as opposed to some other commentaries he has done, and it feels like he is reading a script (which he might have been doing). Also, a lot of history about Japan at this time. The post war era was captured well by Kurosawa, and it is interesting to see some things that are rather different today, both in Japan and here.

Most importantly, and why everyone who watches the film should listen to this commentary, is that he is regularly explaining about what various behaviors and ideas shown are relative to the time and culture the film takes place in. You think we understand the film, but really do not, unless we understand just how unusual, or symbolic, or traditional, various actions are in the context of post war Japan. He delves into the culture, the classes, the architecture, and which ideas were important to Kurosawa.