(aka "Doomed", "Living" or "To Live")

 

directed by Akira Kurosawa
Japan 1952

 

Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa’s greatest achievement, Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of a man’s death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Told in two parts, Ikiru offers Watanabe’s quest in the present, and then through a series of flashbacks. The result is a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives, resulting in a full portrait of a man who lacked understanding from others in life. out of


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Theatrical Release: October 9th, 1952 - Japan

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DVD Comparison:

Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion (2 Disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

(Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Mei Ah (Hong Kong)

Region 0  - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #221
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:19:09 + 1:03:39 = 2:22:48 2:22:50
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 4.33 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 6.94
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Bitrate:

Mei Ah

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Criterion

 

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Subtitles English, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified) and none English, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Mei Ah / Ocean Shores

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1


Edition Details:

• Cast Information

• Text Screens on Akira Kurosawa


DVD Release Date: July 1, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1


Edition Details:
• New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound 
• Audio commentary by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa 
• A Message from Akira Kurosawa (2000): a 90-minute documentary produced by Kurosawa productions and featuring interviews with the director on the set of his later films 
• A 41-minute documentary on Ikiru from the series, Akira Kurosawa: To Create is Beautiful, including interviews with Akira Kurosawa, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and many others 
• Original theatrical trailer 
• New and improved English subtitle translation 
• Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition


DVD Release Date: January 6th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 25

Comments:

The Criterion is obviously superior in every area. I was moderately happy with the Mei Ah version for the past few years - it allowed me to view the film in a not-too-deplorable state. The biggest failing of the Mei Ah disc are the subtitles. Apparently the Japanese dialogue was translated into Chinese, then the Chinese translated into English - so there are flaws. Also the spelling is poor and the image is cropped. The Mei Ah is a DVD 10 - two sides/one layer.

The Criterion is full of Extras that I have only skimmed through at this time. There is a commentary and a whole seconds disc to peruse. I almost always say when I see a upper-echelon Criterion DVD (higher priced) that this is the best the film will ever look, but I am a shade hesitant in this case. There are some visible damage spots on the Criterion image. I see similar markings on the Mei Ah meaning the existing print is flawed. I will say that this is the best this film has looked since it was shown theatrically. Great contrast is Criterion's hallmark, this DVD is no exception. Wonderful subs. I did notice some flickering brightness throughout the film which can be distracting. The audio is only sub-par as well but regardless this DVD is a must-own for film fans around the world. out of

 - Gary W. Tooze





DVD Menus

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Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 


 

Subtitle Sample

(Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


 


Screen Captures

(Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


 


(Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

 

 

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Report Card:

Image:

Criterion

Sound:

Criterion

Extras: Criterion
Menu: Criterion