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This review is from: Criterion Collection: Dodes'Ka-Den [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)Dodes'ka-Den shows the everyday lives of slum dwellers on the outskirts of Toyko. They get through their difficult daily existance through dreams,alcohol and local gossip. It was made at a difficult time in Akira Kurosawa's career and life and its financial failure (amongst other things) led to a suicide attempt. The film mixies social realism with dark humour.
Dodes'ka-Den is not up to the standards of Kurosawa's truly great films. Some of the humour did to me fall abit flat at times and perhaps even on the odd occasion there is a little sentimentality. However, the film shows the characters in all their nobility and flaws with affection. This was Kurosawa's first film in colour and its saturated with distinct bright colours, within very dour subject matter.
Despite some flaws Kurosawa's humanitarism shines through. Its no masterpiece but it is the work of a master.
Criterion have produced their usual excellent standards with this Dvd. There is a very interesting 36 minute documentary but no commentary. I am grateful to them for releasing what is after all, one of Kurosawa's rarer films.