Posts Tagged ‘Ikiru’

Ikiru – To Live Under The Psychoanalytic Lens

Posted 26 Oct 2010 — by contributor
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Corey Birkhofer

Ikiru, Japan, 1952

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Spoiler AlertKanji Watanabe in to live movies i didnt getWhat does one do upon learning they have just a few months left to live? Akira Kurosawa gives an answer to this question in his film Ikiru. Telling the simple story of a Japanese city official, Kanji Watanabe (Takashi Shimura), and his efforts to see that a park is built in a waste-ridden empty lot, we the viewer are given an insight into the final task of a man living with terminal gastric cancer. Setting the pace of the film to slowly recount the struggles of seeing this final task through, Kurosawa ultimately conveys through Kanji the beauty of life, as well as the urgency that inevitable death instills in us all. It is because of this limited amount of time that terminal cancer allows one to live that a psychoanalytic focus on Ikiru seems almost natural to me. With an analysis looking toward death and the psychological ramifications it imposes on not only Kanji, but the rest of the characters as well, the question of why he is so driven to build the park before his death becomes that much more profound. When analyzing Ikiru under a psychoanalytic lens, the most logical aspect to focus on is not only death, but the influence it has on a person throughout their entire life. In the case of Kanji Watanabe, a man who is so engrossed in his work that he has lost touch with reality as a result, death and its inevitable influence are nothing more than some mythical, far-off event that he doesn’t have to worry about. Read More