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.
This is essentially eight separate short films, though with some overlaps in terms of characters and thematic material - chiefly that of man's relationship with his environment. 'Sunshine Through The Rain': a young boy is told not to go out on the day when both weather conditions occur, because that's when the foxes hold their wedding procession, which could have fatal consequences for those who witness it. 'The Peach Orchard': the same young boy encounters the spirits of the peach trees that have been cut down by heartless humans. 'The Blizzard': a team of mountaineers are saved from a blizzard by spiritual intervention. 'The Tunnel': a man encounters the ghosts of an army platoon, whose deaths he was responsible for. 'Crows': an art student encounters 'Vincent Van Gogh' and enters the world of his paintings. 'Mount Fuji in Red': nuclear meltdown threatens the devastation of Japan. 'The Weeping Demon': a portrait of a post-nuclear world populated by human mutations. 'Village of the ... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The types of weather in each segment set the mood or have a symbolic meaning, be it the rain/rainbow in "Sunshine Through the Rain" and its traditional folklore-based meaning, the snowy tempest in "The Blizzard" representing difficult times in life when one needs to persevere to achieve his goal, the gusts of wind in "Mount Fuji in Red" setting the tone of chaos and turbulence of the segment, and finally the contrast between the heavy clouds of "The Weeping Demon" and the serene sunny weather in "Village of the Watermills". See more »
Akira Kurosawa's insights on man's need to harmonize with nature, the costs of war and the bad fruits that nuclear power can bear. This is the first Kurosawa movie I have seen, but I can see how true it is that Kurosawa is a master of creating atmosphere in a film. Such as the dark, post-nuclear apocalyptic world of THE WEEPING DEMON. Or the very first episode when the little boy sees something he is not supposed to see in the forest.
I found THE BLIZZARD rather strange, and you'll see a scary part when the mountainman is having his mirage of the beautiful woman who symbolizes the snowstorm. I'm not sure what the significance of the dog was in THE TUNNEL, but I guess it illustrates the fact that though he was the commander of Third Platoon , he felt like a coward because of his command, his men paid the price.... yet he is guilty of still being alive; he's afraid of the dog.
It ends rather low key, but the last episode THE VILLAGE IN THE WATERMILLS is the most insightful and bold in expressing the movie's theme... of harmonizing with nature, and maybe harmonizing with ourselves.
The procession displays the unity and the communal harmony that the villagers have. And it is the exact opposite of what is grieved about in MOUNT FUJI IN RED or THE WEEPING DEMON. The cinematography is just beautiful. The movie is beautiful and captivating.
Akira Kurosawa's YUME is Grade A- 9/10
23 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?