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
The movie was made as the first feature of the Committee of the Four Knights, a group founded by four of Japan's greatest directors: Akira Kurosawa, Keisuke Kinoshita, Masaki Kobayashi and Kon Ichikawa. According to a interview with Ichikawa, they wanted their first picture to be a hit. When this film told a story deemed too depressing and was subsequently a failure with audiences, the group disbanded and never made another film. The movie's failure also contributed to Kurosawa's suicide attempt one year later. See more »
I've been thinking all evening about the house we're building... Looks like you're sleepy?
No, I'm not sleepy. I'm listening.
The gate comes first. The gate is the face of a house. The face shows the character.
Mm hmm. That's right.
Since we're building a house on a hill, it must be in a European style. How about rococo? Or Spanish style? British style isn't bad either... They're a bit showy. It should be neither too fancy nor too imposing. I want a gate both plain and inviting.
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Its definitely not for everyone; a great artist, when he is experimenting, often alienates a large percentage of the public. For my money, its one of the more amazing films of all time, and contains numerous scenes which I can recall vividly; the now-over-the-edge of sanity father exclaiming "the house is finished!"; the stuttering husband defending his rude wife to his guests; the monk offering all of his possessions to a thief; and most of all the incredible closing scene, as the camera pans across walls covered with amazing color drawings of trolley-cars. The compassion Kurosawa shows for humanity is deep and profound; there is nothing else in the annals of film quite like the Buddhist-influenced post-WW2 works of the Japanese directors. There are many many millions of people on the planet today who do not live as well as this little community in the middle of their garbage-dump.
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