Wondering, wandering, and making sense of the world.


The Gap between reality and nostalgia – 現実とノスタルジアのギャップ

Below are two trailers from movies based in 1950s Japan. The difference is that one of the movies is shot in the 1950s while the other is shot in the 2000s.

Ikiru – 生きる

From Wikipedia: “Ikiru (生きる, ‘To Live’)  is a 1952 Japanese film co-written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film examines the struggles of a minor Tokyo bureaucrat and his final quest for meaning. The film stars Takashi Shimura as Kanji Watanabe.”

Ikiru is one of Kurosawa’s highly regarded yet lesser known films. I fell in love with the movie for its depiction of Japanese society in a time I was not alive. There is one scene I adore that shows the chaotic nightlife of Tokyo infused with western influences yet distinctly Japanese.

Always 3 choume no yuhi – ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日

From Wikipedia “Always: Sunset on Third Street (ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日,  Ōruweizu: San-chōme no Yūhi)  is a 2005 film co-written and directed by the Japanese filmmaker Takashi Yamazaki, based on Ryōhei Saigan’s long-running manga  Sanchōme no Yūhi. It was chosen as Best Film at the Japan Academy Prize ceremony.”

Always: Sunset on Third Street is a film set in the 1950s post-war Japan that evokes a sense of romanticized nostalgia. I found the film to be cute but stylized and somewhat formulaic. I nevertheless found it enjoyable.

Do you see the differences in how society is depicted in these two movies? There is something intrinsically human about how we want to remember the past, even if that may be in stark contrast from how reality was. How will we remember now in 50 years?

I highly suggest watching both movies if you enjoy films beyond Hollywood. They are both entertaining on their own, and if you don’t mind a movie marathon, watch them both in succession.


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