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Ikiru & Self-Education

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Posted 07-25-2008 at 01:58 AM by Zztx


I just got done watching what is widely regarded as a Great Film (capital G and F, there), Akira Kurosawa's [i]Ikiru[/i]. The story follows an aging Tokyo bureaucrat who, upon discovering that he is terminal with stomach cancer, decides to finally start living and pursue the cause of having a children's park erected in town. Plot aside, the movie is really about how every human being should aspire to spend their life, with unwavering passion and love.

However, as the movie ended, I was not left with that sense of fulfillment so many other viewers seemed to have had. It certainly wasn't a bad movie, but I couldn't connect with it. I feel underwhelmed, and it bugs me.

I sought out [i]Ikiru[/i] as part of a sort of regimen of self-education I try to take upon myself every now and again; mostly dealing with books and movies, I try to find what are generally regarded as classics and experience them for myself. Case in point, I'm trying to get around to being the last person on Earth to read [i]1984[/i]. I'm terrible at maintaining healthy reading habits, but I feel a sort of personal responsibility to get it read at some point. Likewise with [i]Ikiru[/i], I've had it for some time now but only tonight set aside some time (which I have [u]plenty[/u] of) to watch it.

So I wonder if perhaps it is the drudge of making great movies and books into a prescribed regimen that dulls them for me, rather than experiencing them as the gifts they are to us all.

Then I think that maybe I'm trying too hard to force myself to like what a large number of people concede to be in good taste.

Then I worry that maybe years of sensory overload and instant gratification have numbed my senses beyond the point of enjoying anything that requires an attention span.

[I]Then[/I] I worry, among other possibilities, that I'm just over-thinking things, ironically enough.

Anyone else have this sort of problem, or am I [i]really[/i] this neurotic?
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  1. Old Comment
    Kalki's Avatar
    I loved [I]Ikiru[/I]. Thought the ending was a bit extended, as I've felt with other Japanese movies. Didn't stop that feeling of purpose which stayed with me for many days and still does whenever I look back on that one time I rented it. I appreciated it for its raw simplicity, not any supposed "brilliance". Plus the stripper was the sexiest woman I remember seeing.

    A development of critical faculties and taste are what impede the senses of enjoyment. As an infant, you would be entertained by a cardboard box more than any fancy toy or gadget- or so proclaims one MasterCard ad. So yeah, there is such a thing as being too smart for you own good if that's what you're asking.

    If you believe you are forcing this diet of books and movies, then vary the kind you choose or do other stuff. And do it at your pace, even if it means the occasional setback or abandonment of a goal. Try to mirror your other unregulated habits, like maybe eating for instance. You can build an appetite for anything if you starve long enough.
    Posted 07-25-2008 at 02:40 AM by Kalki Kalki is offline
    Updated 07-25-2008 at 02:43 AM by Kalki

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