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Criterion Collection: Ikiru | Blu-ray Review

In six decades of filmmaking and thirty plus titles in his filmography, it’s nearly impossible to determine the weighted importance concerning a number of the influential works from Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, considered by many to be among the most notable directors from Japan, alongside peers such as Mizoguchi and Ozu. Instead, it’s easier to discuss his work in strategic measures regarding theme or motif, such as his famed Shakespearean adaptations or epic Samurai classics, pillaged endlessly by Western filmmakers in proceeding generations. But certainly a definite standout is his 1952 title, Ikiru, which roughly translates as “to live.” A powerfully humanistic title examining the significance of life as something only to be rightly cherished when seen through the lens of death, it stands at the slender end of a filmography generally examining human tendency for apathy, revenge, and other plateaus of self-destructive forces. Moving without being sentimental, Kurosawa

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