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Entries in Ikiru (1)

Saturday
May142011

Mix Tape: "Gondola no Uta" in Ikiru

Andreas from Pussy Goes Grrr here, with an especially sobering song selection.

Midway through Akira Kurosawa's life-affirming masterpiece Ikiru (1952), the terminally ill protagonist Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) gives those around him a painful reminder of life's transience. An aging bureaucrat, Watanabe has been trying to indulge in a little of the good life as he dies of stomach cancer. But nothing, not even a fancy new hat, has been able to lift his depression.

At his nadir, Watanabe sits in a bar surrounded by young revelers, with an attractive woman is at his side. The piano man calls out for requests, and in a low rasp, Watanabe suggests "Gondola no Uta." The piano man obliges him and, although the bar's denizens initially try to dance, they soon fall still and silent as Watanabe's anguished singing takes over the soundtrack.

Read more about Takashi Shimura's incredible performance (including Ikiru spoilers) after the jump.

Click to read more ...