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Madadayo [DVD] [1992] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059H7C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 566,963 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description


"Kurosawa's has made us a marvellous gift in his last film ... a poignant poem and an acute meditation on peace and joy in life." --Martin Scorsese

Exquisite...nearly perfect ...Extraordinarily moving! --The New York Times

One of a great filmmaker s greatest works! --Chicago Tribune --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I quite like Madadayo, it has a sense of perhaps being about the director. I think this as it's at first about a farewell to a much loved professor, and then subsequent tributes to him.
But the film aside (you can find good in depth reviews elsewhere), I'd like to say a few things about the DVD release itself.
It's terrible! This is one of the worst DVD transfers I have ever seen and does not do the film justice.
The picture quality is so terrible it reminds me of cheesey shot-for-TV Indian soap shows from the 80's, it's that bad, so bad it's distracting!
Also it suffers from something that many second-rate DVD production companies suffer from in that it's presented in letter-box format, meaning that if you're one of the 99% of people who buy this film and own a widescreen TV you'll be rewarded to a tiny picture squished into the centre of your screen.
The sound is also slightly out of sync, not too much to be annoying, but as I'm on a roll it felt worth mentioned (I tested this on a blu ray player, dvd player and laptop to confirm it).

So in conclusion. DO NOT BUY the YUME release of this film, in fact everything I own released by Yume has been of very poor quality.
Wait for a while and this film will be re-released by someone competent. Hopefully on blu-ray.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Any viewer has preconceived ideas, unbeknown to him/her, about the film he/she is about to watch. Most of these ideas derive from the name of the director and of the main actors, and from the title of the film. The Japanese sentence "madadayo" meaning nothing to the average Western moviegoer, and the leading actors being unknown to him/her, his/her expectation of this film will solely depend on the name and fame of the film-maker. To many moviegoers, Kurosawa Akira means samurai epic, katana swordplay and large-scale battle. And yet only a part of Kurosawa's cinematic work responds to these criteria; MADADAYO does not respond to them. Until the very last sequence, the film may be defined as the realistic portrait of an ageing former teacher, surnamed Uchida, and his relationship with a group of faithful and loving alumni, through a series of daily life anecdotes covering nearly two decades, in World-War-II and post-War Tokyo, Japan. The title, meaning "not yet", comes from Professor Uchida's answer to a question collectively asked by his former pupils during a joyful rite of longevity performed on the occasion of the annual meeting of the alumni's society. This meeting takes place on every birthday of Uchida, who turns 60 at the beginning of the film and 77 at the end.

To be understood, this film requires from the audience a reasonable acquaintance with, and interest in, the history and society of twentieth-century Japan. Of course, a basic proficiency in Japanese language will enable one to fully appreciate the anecdotes involving written material (the main character is a witty literary figure, and the English subtitles frequently fail to render Uchida's humour and his playful use of various cultural references).
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Format: DVD
Akira Kurosawa's last film, from 1993, didn't attract a lot of attention when first released, perhaps because the Japanese master was already a bit out of fashion among the critics and the public in the 1990s, but this is among his best movies. Kurosawa was 83 when he directed this (he would die five years later) so in many ways this is a film about old age and about dying, but is far from somber or depressing - it's hard to think of a more elegiac film about death (it is also, of course, a film about life).

The movie's protagonist is Hyakken Uchida (1889-1971), who was a real Japanese professor of German Literature, but in many ways he is in the movie an alter ego of Kurosawa, an aging master facing old age and death. Uchida is kind hearted sometimes to the point of naivete. Plotwise, not much really happens in this slow but rewarding film - we see Uchida the day of his retirement, facing the destruction of his home during World War II, celebrating with his former students each year in a party, finally facing illness and old age. Perhaps the biggest incident in the movie is when Uchida loses his cat. But if the plot seems slight, the movie stands out as a beautiful piece of humanist filmmaking. The quietly beautiful photography and mise en scene certainly helps.
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By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Aug. 2010
Format: DVD
The thirtieth and last film by the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, should be a must see for the avid cineaste. Kurosawa's films are still treated with some reverence in the west, but sadly in Japan they are not held in the same esteem, where they believe he has been too western influenced. This may be true with some of his films, but other films like "Madadayo" are very Japanese in character. Kurosawa was more versatile than many in the west appreciate. Whilst he made his magnificent Samurai action films like "The Seven Samurai" and "Yojimbo", he also made more gentle and contemplative films like "One Wonderful Sunday" and "Ikiru". I honestly believe these films to be just as good, if not better.

Whilst watching the first twenty minutes of "Madadayo" I was teetering on the brink of boredom, but then the film began to weave its spell on me, and by the end had grabbed my full and rapt attention. The film is based on the life of Hyakken Uchida, a noted Japanese academic and author. The film commences just before the Second World War, and concerns the relationship between a professor of German and his former pupils, who continue to hold him as a "Living Treasure", in the Japanese tradition for someone whose great achievements merit this honour. We then follow events for the following seventeen years, as the students hold a party for his honour every year. At the party he is always asked the question "Maadha Kai", ("are you ready?") to which he responds "Madadayo" (not yet!). This alludes to an old Japanese fairy tale where an old man refuses to die.

It is almost as if Kurosawa had some premonition that this would be his last film. This is clearly a more personal work, where he wished to illustrate the virtues that he held dearest.
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