Director – Oliver Hermanus – 2022 – UK – Cert. 12a – 102m
Diagnosed with stomach cancer and given only months to live, a bureaucrat searches for something – anything – to give purpose to his hitherto meaningless life in this remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru – out in UK cinemas on Friday, November 4th following its screenings in the BFI London Film Festival 2022, while Ikiru is on BFI Player subscription
For anyone who has had the privilege of seeing Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1952) it is a very strange thing to watch this remake of it. On the one hand, it is exactly the same film. It has the same plot. On the other, it is completely different. Both are set in the 1950s, the original in Japan and the new one in London.
At this point, I have to say that this remake sounded to me (until I’d seen it) like a very bad idea. Cinema is littered with great films that have been remade as shadows of their former selves. Generally speaking, most ideas like this are better left well alone. To make matters worse, this is a case of an established novelist writing a screenplay: producers love this because they see a bestselling author as having a reliable track record but, in fact, the skills required for writing a novel and a movie are very different indeed.… Read the rest