BEAN’S TOP 5 JAPANESE FILMS: NUMBER 5 - IKIRU
It’s my turn now! I found it very difficult to choose my favorite Japanese films. This is not because I have seen so many, which is true, but because there are many films I love and I think everyone should see- but I have no interest in seeing again.
So I’ve decided to cut those films out for now and focus on my watchable favorites and not the ones I think you should see. Maybe I’ll make a “5 Japanese films I think you should see but will probably scar you for life” list later.
Ikiru is a film about a classic ‘salary man’ bureaucrat in a broken, useless government job who realizes he wants to find meaning in his life. It’s a sweet, heart-warming film that makes you want to live life to the fullest! It’s also a really good look-if not a slightly caricatured version- of what life is like working for a Japanese company or Government office. While things aren’t that bad for some, many people in Japan do work ludicrous hours for no over time and are unable or feel unable to take days off. They work all day long and at least from what I’ve seen, they often aren’t working hard, they just feel obligated to look like they are working and stay late.
This being one of Kurosawa’s earlier films I feel like his style is a little raw and even over the top- in a good way. Kurosawa frames scenes to visually represent the feelings and relationships of his characters, all over the place. Seriously just pay attention to the how the characters are placed in a scene and you’ll realize that practically everything around them informs you about who they are, what they feel, or what their relationship is with the other characters in the scene.
A very fun and interesting watch.