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.
An anthology of overlapping vignettes exploring the lives of a variety of characters who happen to live in a suburbial shantytown atop a rubbish dump: The boy Roku-chan lives in a fantasy world in which he is a tram conductor. In his fantasy world, he is both the tram and the tram driver and follows a set route and schedule through the dump, reciting the refrain "Dodeska-den", "clickety-clack", mimicking the sound of his vehicle. Ryotaro, a hairbrush maker by trade, is saddled with supporting many children whom his unfaithful wife Misao[c] has conceived in different adulterous affairs, but is wholeheartedly devoted to them. A pair of drunken day laborers (Masuda and Kawaguchi) who engage in wife-swapping, only to return to their own wives the next day as though nothing has happened. A stoic, bleak man named Hei is frequented by Ocho who appears to be his ex-wife, and he watches emotionless as she takes care of his domestic chores. Shima, the man with the tic, is always defending his ...Written by
This one tends to get slighted by a lot of critics and Kurosawa fans, but I thought it was wonderful. It's an episodic multi-character study of Tokyo's poorest, who live in a city literally made from garbage. Though it looks like an A-Bomb just hit, the film has a sort of serene beauty thanks to the glorious use of Technicolor. The title comes from the sound made by the insane young man who drives an imaginary trolley through the slum. All the characters were wonderful and all the stories engrossing, but perhaps the most tragic concerns the man and his young son who live in an abandoned car. When not searching for food, they spend their spare time using their imagination to build their dream house. An emotionally moving and beautiful film.
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