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Reel to Real: Ikiru
July 13, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Suggested donations £3
IKIRU | Akira Kurosawa | 1952 | Japanese, with subtitles | PG | 143 mins
Never one to shy away from grand themes, Akira Kurosawa here tackles the biggest and simplest of existential issues: the fact of mortality and the impact that the inevitability of death has on an individual life. A diagnosis of terminal stomach cancer forces a bureaucrat to take stock of his life and to seek some way of giving it meaning. Built around a superb central performance from Takashi Shimura, this is a classic of humanist cinema.
Kurosawa wrote the script with Shinobu Hashimoto and Hideo Oguni, creating not only a powerful indictment of bureaucracy but also a hard-boiled metaphysical affirmation of the moral message found in the title – Ikiru means to live.
This film is the first in a series of six for Reel to Real, exploring civic space, and public places. If you have a film that you would like to be considered for inclusion as part of our series, please get in touch!
About the director: Akira Kurosawa is is one of Japanese cinema’s few household names in the west, due to such groundbreaking jidaigeki period action films as Seven Samurai (1954), The Hidden Fortress (1958) and Kagemusha (1980). The obvious influence of these more monumental titles makes it easy to overlook the more humanistic, personal aspects of the master’s wide array of low-key, contemporary dramas and potent literary adaptations.