IKIRU by Akira
Kurosawa
                Screen1: Kanji
                Watanabe
                listening to the
         ...
stamping laws and routing woes
from people into the one-way
spiral of government machinery.
So he is part of a systemic
di...
He becomes agitated and tries
to find resort in the company of a
drunkard half baked novelist and
a women ex-colleague. Th...
Thus he resolves his
individualistic trauma by entering
the road of hardship of a public
servant. He helps a working
class...
Screen 2: Kanji Watanabe
       in the park he has
       struggled to realize in a
       working class district. He
    ...
He absorbs the traumatic yet
muted man diseased by terminal
stomach cancer.

Many people believe film as a
narrative of po...
act of dream. There is an act of
reflection and creation at the
other side of it.

Similarly in the act of filming
there i...
The commercial editing
suppresses many poignant
aspects of cinema like the
suppression and repression in
the conscious wor...
movements of sound and it
stress- strain tunes.

We can see the following
thought process as a common
denominator:

The ac...
space–time possibilities of
Cinema make it more powerful
and moving as compared to
other languages.


May be from an engin...
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Ikiru by akira kurosawa

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Kurasowa at his best

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Ikiru by akira kurosawa

  1. 1. IKIRU by Akira Kurosawa Screen1: Kanji Watanabe listening to the symptoms of stomach cancer at the clinic. He realizes the tragedy of shortcomings through panic and alienation. IRIRU (To Live) is a touching masterwork from Akira Kurosawa. It is his 13th film produced in 1952. It evolves to a social critic through a simple film narrative. It’s about the life of a civil servant being part of a sickened bureaucracy. He is silently
  2. 2. stamping laws and routing woes from people into the one-way spiral of government machinery. So he is part of a systemic disease in the initial part of the story. But he is suffering from stomach cancer which he comes to know all of a sudden. This makes him realize the null and void of his life. When he was ailing and craving for solace his only son could not heed to his shattered mind. All he had done was to accentuate it by demanding the Pension and all the benefits of his 30 year old civil service. This makes him in no man’s land. This is a real alienation both at the family level and at the social dimension. Kanji Watanabe realizes the futility of his life with all the shocks and tremors.
  3. 3. He becomes agitated and tries to find resort in the company of a drunkard half baked novelist and a women ex-colleague. The drive to live (AKIRU) becomes more and more aggressive as days passes. None of the fetish pleasures of the commoditized world could make him alive. He visits casinos, hotels, parties etc. But all made him more alienated and confused more. And he could not resolve his pain and sense of lose. Thus he decides to regain his will by being helpful to the people struggling in the spiders of red tapes. It was not a trivial decision. But it was to regain his mummified past career of 3o years. It was a realization provoked by the selfishness or utilitarian from his family members and all the middle class pleasures.
  4. 4. Thus he resolves his individualistic trauma by entering the road of hardship of a public servant. He helps a working class township to make a sewage pool and to redesign a park in that township. He unties all the obstacles of the red tape even at the level of the mafias and deputy mayor. The second part of the story develops through the conversation that happens among his colleagues about his death. Everyone accepts his transformation though reluctantly. This part of the movie is full of satirist narrative of the middle class. But the next day the very same people becomes part of the systemic disease.
  5. 5. Screen 2: Kanji Watanabe in the park he has struggled to realize in a working class district. He dies here in snowy night reciting his favorite song ‘Life is brief’. Yet the policeman who met him at this night recollects that he was happy though. Thus movie is mistaken by many as an existentialist narrative. The presence of death and the fragmentation of truth all make us to think so. But given the Japanese society and its hierarchical structure, this movie is a simple narrative full of powerful acting and direction. Takashi Shimura shows his acting powers to the fullest as the protagonist ‘Kanji Watanabe’.
  6. 6. He absorbs the traumatic yet muted man diseased by terminal stomach cancer. Many people believe film as a narrative of powerful / poetic imagery. But I differ to say that a film consist of a thought process with distinct event horizon. Film or Cinema consists of a story enmeshed in a particular narrative. Film is not a motion picture even in the days of silent classics. Its entities are represented as images, but the motion or the movement and its kinesthetic makes movies more than the sum of motion pictures. Its aesthetics lies not in the real or surreal dimensions of images. It can be compared to dreams which are remembered with image maps in mind, but each entity in a dream is a thought process made conscious by the
  7. 7. act of dream. There is an act of reflection and creation at the other side of it. Similarly in the act of filming there is an element of reflection. A thought undergoes spectral changes in the process of movie making. The story transforms to a script in the language of the writer. In this stage it is constructed out of linguistic aesthetics and active production. Then it is decompiled into the entities of acting, image capturing and musical compositions. In the stage of editing again they are compiled, linked and integrated to a multi dimensional condensed object. We can find the similarities in dreams too. The archetypes of dreams are formed in a different context of mind (space and time).
  8. 8. The commercial editing suppresses many poignant aspects of cinema like the suppression and repression in the conscious world. But when it comes in the hand of a skillful, truthful cinematician all the components becomes self evident and vocal. Greats of soviet cinema lie in the next level, at which theses components are coalesced to further dimensions in the process of various montage techniques. In the movies of Kurosawa we cannot see the complex systems of montage yet it evokes all the possible emotions out of truthful creativeness of the auteur. We appreciate music for its movement of sound yet we know that aesthetics of music is layered much beyond the
  9. 9. movements of sound and it stress- strain tunes. We can see the following thought process as a common denominator: The act of communication and the valuation of aesthetics; How does music communicate to the mind? The familiarity to our hearing system is an essential quality desired in Music. In addition to the simple pleasure creation if it creates a secondary sense we appreciate music more. If it makes us step down from confused chaotic state to simple state we appreciate it further. Similarly the power of Cinema lies in opening our mind when it is cluttered by various ideological systems. Various
  10. 10. space–time possibilities of Cinema make it more powerful and moving as compared to other languages. May be from an engineering perspective we can say that Cinema is more spectral efficient through the process of integration of it various components. Kurosawa shows this to magnificent extents in IKIRU.

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