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To Live

American audiences remember Akira Kurosawa as the genius of the samurai epic, a past master who used the form both to revise and revive Western classics - Shakespeare with Ran and Throne of Blood, Dostoevsky with Red Beard and The Idiot, Gorky with The Lower Depths - and to give splendid and ultimately immortal life to new archetypes, as in The Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Yojimbo. But Kurosawa also made films of his own time. His masterpiece, in fact, was the quiet story of a gray Japanese bureaucrat dying in post-war Tokyo, and of his attempt to do something of lasting good before he leaves. The film is Ikiru ("To Live"; 1952). [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jan 29, 2008 - 46 comments

Hi, Mommy

Did the blue dress ever exist? Regina Louise had a miserable childhood, shuttled from foster home to foster home, at best ignored at best and at worst abused. There was only one happy memory from her childhood: the time she spent with the sole foster mother to ever show her love. But that woman had vanished from Louise's life years ago, and it seemed unlikely they'd ever meet again... (Warning: this newspaper article may make you cry.)
posted by yankeefog on Dec 31, 2005 - 46 comments

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