Roger Ebert hosts Kurosawa’s Ikiru, which will be released by Criterion next year

Home Vision Entertainment, the premiere distributor of foreign and classic feature films in North America, sponsored the 38th Chicago International Film Festival Critic’s Choice on October 10th at the Landmark Theater in Chicago. This year, Pulitzer Prize winning critic, Roger Ebert hosted Akira Kurosawa’s acclaimed drama “Ikiru”, to be released on DVD by The Criterion Collection, and distributed by Home Vision Entertainment in 2003.

Roger Ebert has written: “I first saw Ikiru in 1960 or 1961… I sat enveloped in the story of Watanabe, and wrote about it in a class where the essay topic was Plato’s statement, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Over the years I have seen Ikiru every five years or so, and each time it has moved me, and made me think. And the older I get, the less Watanabe seems like a pathetic old man, and the more he seems like every one of us.” Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 film follows the search for meaning of a Japanese bureaucrat, Mr. Watanabe, who discovers he’s dying after 30 years at City Hall and never accomplishing anything. Before dying, he determines to accomplish at least one worthwhile thing. Deeply moving, but never sentimental, the film features a superb performance by Takashi Shimura, and what Ebert describes as “one of the greatest closing shots in the cinema.”

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