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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

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

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/kurosawa.htm
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.

Poster

 

 

Theatrical Release: October 9th, 1952 - Japan

Reviews                                                                             More Reviews                                                                    DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

BFI - Region 2- PAL vs. Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion (2 Disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Mikkel Svendstrup of DVDsnak for the BFI DVD screen captures!

1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - LEFT
2)
Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

  

   

   

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Criterion (without the extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Distribution

BFI

Region 2  - PAL

Mei Ah (Hong Kong)

Region 0  - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #221
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 221 - Region A - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:17:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:19:09 + 1:03:39 = 2:22:48 2:22:50 2:23:07.704
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate: 5.84 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,401,688,866 bytes

Feature: 31,016,091,648 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

BFI

 

Bitrate:

Mei Ah

.

Bitrate:

 

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion Blu-ray

 

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps 

Subtitles English (non-removable - player generated) English, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified) and none English, and none English, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: BFI Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Filmed introduction by Alex Cox
• Biography of Akira Kurosawa
• Biography of Takashi Shimura


DVD Release Date: October 6th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 20

 

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

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1


Edition Details:
• 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 

DVD Release Date: January 6th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 25

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,401,688,866 bytes

Feature: 31,016,091,648 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary from 2003 by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
• A Message from Akira Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies (2000), a ninety­-minute documentary produced by Kurosawa Productions and featuring interviews with the director (1:21:22)
• Documentary on Ikiru from 2003, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create, and featuring interviews with Kurosawa, script supervisor Teruyo Nogami, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and others (41:38)
• Trailer (3:31)
• PLUS: An essay by critic and travel writer Pico Iyer and a reprint from critic Donald Richie’s 1965 book The Films of Akira Kurosawa

Blu-ray Release Date: November 23rd, 2015

Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 2
4

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' Blu-ray November 15': Cited as a 'New, restored 4K digital transfer' Criterion's 1080P looks rich, textured and beautiful. There is still light damage/scratches but the higher resolution really brings out the more film-like presentation. It's so impressive in-motion compared to the old SD transfers. Like night and day. A shade darker and superior contrast layering.

Criterion use their usual linear PCM mono track - authentic - audible dialogue and the music by Fumio Hayasaka (Rashomon, Sansho the Bailiff, Ugetsu etc.) sounds emotional and noble via the uncompressed. There are optional English subtitles on Criterion's region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Criterion duplicate their supplements from the 2004 DVD with the informative audio commentary by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa. A Message from Akira Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies is a one-hour 21-minute documentary from 2000 produced by Kurosawa Productions and featuring interviews with the director. There is also the 2003, 41-minute documentary on Ikiru created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create, and featuring interviews with Kurosawa, script supervisor Teruyo Nogami, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and others. Lastly is a trailer and the package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic and travel writer Pico Iyer and a reprint from critic Donald Richie’s 1965 book The Films of Akira Kurosawa.

A no-brainer Blu-ray purchase - debatably Kurosawa's most moving film - and the HD presentation looks better than I could have hoped for in my home theatre. Should get some votes in our year-end poll. I really don't know what more to say - the film drains me. Buy with extreme confidence.

***

ADDITION (January 2004) - BFI Release: The BFI release is very good and only slightly (very slightly) inferior to the Criterion in image quality. In many instances it looks almost identical. Where Criterion takes the cake is the Extras. Unfortunately The BFI has non-removable (but player generated) subs, but that wouldn't alter me trading up unless I was dying for the Criterion Features. BFI has done a solid job and I like their subs which are clear and seem different, but accurate. The Alex Cox intro is excellent!

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.

 - Gary W. Tooze


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Ritchie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"




Menus

(BFI - Region 2- PAL LEFT vs. Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP
2)
Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Screen Captures

1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP
2)
Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP
2)
Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP
2)
Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP
2)
Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP
2)
Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP
2)
Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP
2)
Mei Ah - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


 Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Criterion / Blu-ray

 


Recommended Reading for Kurosawa Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


Box Covers

 

 

  

   

   

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Criterion (without the extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Distribution

BFI

Region 2  - PAL

Mei Ah (Hong Kong)

Region 0  - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #221
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 221 - Region A - Blu-ray



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...