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Dodes Ka-Den (The Criterion Collection)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Yoshitaka Zushi, Kin Sugai, Toshiyuki Tonomura, Shinsuke Minami, Yûko Kusunoki
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, Shûgorô Yamamoto
  • Producers: Akira Kurosawa, Keisuke Kinoshita, Kon Ichikawa
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: March 17 2009
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O549G6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,097 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow on Jan. 1 2004
Format: VHS Tape
If I were living like any of the people of the Tokyo slums in Akira Kurosawa's first colour film, Dodes'ka-den, like them, I'd be living in illusion and imagination to counter the squalid conditions. Living for them, but in my case, it'd be drowning. That's the premise of this movie, a testament to the human spirit and how it keeps on going despite adversity.
There's no plot in this film, as it tells of the various people living in the slums, some in coloured tin corrugated roofs, others in dirty, dingy travesties of huts, and in the case of an oddball boy who pretends he's a streetcar conductor and spends all day shuffling to who knows where. He goes through the motions, putting on his cap, pushing the buttons, pulling levers, and muttering the words "Dodes'ka-den." Which leads to the title. It's a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound a train makes on the tracks. Roughly translated, it's like clackety-clack. The smaller kids who see him throw pebbles at him and cry out "trolley crazy."
My favourite characters are the bedraggled derelict and his young son who live in a beaten up, wheelless VW bug. The son goes out at night and gets scraps from a friendly sushi shop man. During the day, the father discusses their dream house, and we see his designs, from the gate, fence, and house, come alive, with dramatic sounds and colour. He must have been an architect or designer, and he escapes his squalid condition by envisioning a dreamhouse. There's a vivid example of colour cinematography at work, when standing under glaring yellow sky, we see the eerie blue light cast on him and his son, ill from food poisoning.
The drunken buddies who swap wives are two of the most colourful, but there's an interesting theme.
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By shalamo on Feb. 27 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Dodeskaden portrays the beauty inside the struggle and pain of human existence.The images will never leave me. This and Itami's " Tampopo " are my all time Japanese cinema favorites.
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Format: VHS Tape
Along with the Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen, this is one of my favorite "faith" movies of all time. Dont get me wrong, Im not even attempting to compare it to Baron...just to say they brought about similar changes in my teenage years, a time when I was contemplating suicide. Cant be that dramatic anymore.This and Mishima really helped just for that day...watching it at the library. Its too bad Mishima is so much money, but owning Dodes Ka-Den is enough. Do yourself a favor and buy it.
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By A Customer on Jan. 6 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Kurosawa's first color film originally came in at 244 minutes and the studio executives were aghast. They quickly cut it to about 140 minutes and reportedly destroyed the original negative in so doing. This along with the lack of public and critical acceptance at the time drove the great genius to a suicide attempt. In it's original form it could well have been Kurosawa's great masterpiece. As it is, it's a little quixotic and hard to follow, but a stunning piece of movie making. The children's train drawings shown during the prayer scenes were collected by Kurosawa from children all over Japan for this film. It is pointless to recap the story, but I just say to you see it and you'll never forget it. Perhaps Criterion could find the orignal version when it comes out on DVD, let's hope so!
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By A Customer on Jan. 6 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Kurosawa's first color film originally came in at 244 minutes and the studio executives were aghast. They quickly cut it to about 140 minutes and reportedly destroyed the original negative in so doing. This along with the lack of public and critical acceptance at the time drove the great genius to a suicide attempt. In it's original form it could well have been Kurosawa's great masterpiece. As it is, it's a little quixotic and hard to follow, but a stunning piece of movie making. The children's train drawings shown during the prayer scenes were collected by Kurosawa from children all over Japan for this film. It is pointless to recap the story, but I just say to you see it and you'll never forget it. Perhaps Criterion could find the orignal version when it comes out on DVD, let's hope so!
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