Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
Yuzo and his fiancée Masako spend their Sunday afternoon together, trying to have a good time on just thirty-five yen. They manage to have many small adventures, especially because Masako's... See full summary »
Episodes from the lives of a group of Tokyo slum-dwellers: Rokkuchan, an intellectually disabled boy who brings meaning and routine to his life by driving an imaginary streetcar; children who support their parents by scrounging or by tedious and ill-paying endeavours; schemers who plot or dream of escaping the shackles of poverty. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[speaking to his three guests]
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever found a way to get rice from a rice store? I don't mean borrowing, I mean taking it right in front of their eyes.
You take a big pot and get it all wet on the inside, and have it filled at the rice store. Try to get it on credit and they'll refuse. You throw the rice out, but the pot is wet. So some rice remains stuck to the sides. If you repeat that three times, you'll get enough for a meal. Eh? Great, isn't it?
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The title is onomatopoeic, the sound of a streetcar clacking on the rails. It is metaphoric for all that the people who live in the dump cannot have. The misery of those people is illustrated by the passing streetcar which represents the relatively unobtainable rich life of the middle class. The pathos of the little boy and his beloved yet sadly insane father is most touching. This was Kurosawa's first film in colour and he uses beautifully shocking hues, colours seen only in dreams. The movie is surreal and surpassing in beauty. The compassion for humanity is the underling force, but as always, Kurosawa is focused on capturing the beauty of the film. It is a masterwork by a genius of cinema.
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