Flick City: Patton Oswalt Rethinks Life With Kurosawa Classic ‘Ikiru’

It was a great movie weekend for me, as I finally checked out Koreeda’s Shoplifters and also followed Patton Oswalt’s advice to watch Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru and, as of this moment, it’s one of my all time favorite films. Check out the video below as Oswalt talks about the three movies that will make you rethink your life!!

Patton Oswalt, who wrote his own personal account of being a cinephile (Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life From an Addiction To Film), cites Hirozauku Koreeda’s Afterlife, Harod Ramis’ Groundhog Day, and Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru as movies that will make you rethink your life. Transcript and the Oswalt video is below!!

What’s weird is a lot of people that aren’t cinephiles will talk about Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Yojimbo because those are the ones that the general public knows. Or they’ll talk about Kagemusha because ‘Oh Lucas and Spielberg produced that one. But, in terms of a movie that . . . 
There was a producer on a show who told me, ‘I’ve always wanted, but it feels sadistic to do this. Take the writing staff on a Friday afternoon, show them the film Ikiru, and then see who comes back in on Monday, because it is one of those movies . . . also Koreeda’s Afterlifewhere you watch it and you genuinely rethink your life. 
Groundhog Day, Koreeda’s Afterlife and Kurosawa’s Ikiru is the ‘I need to rethink my life right now’ (type of movie). And it’s such a simple story – a guy finds out he has cancer, it’s inoperable and he goes through the seven stages of ‘Well I’m just going to party.’
And by the way he is this minor government official that no one – he has this crappy little job. He literally works in Parks and Rec. Everyone calls him ‘The Mummy’ because on his desk there are stacks of paper. ‘Look the mummy’s there because no one listens to him.’ And says (to himself), ‘I’m going to build this little playground in the center of the city.’ 
They show him going through it and the final image of that movie will devastate you in a good way.


Though Oswalt recommends Ikiru be seen on the big screen, I cheated and checked it out on the free streaming service Kanopy. I’ll definitely be purchasing it on Criterion in the near future, and hopefully this will be the start of more Kurosawa movie watching on my part.

Are you a fan of any of these films? If so, were they life changers for you? What are some of the movies that changed your life? Do I ask too many freaking questions? Feel free to comment below or better yet join our CinemAddicts Facebook Movie Group!!

I give away a Blu-ray or DVD each week to members of our small circle, so if you love getting the chance to win free movies (and more importantly, get a ton of film recommendations from fellow members), please join!

A.P. BIO — “Happiness”: (l-r) Paula Pell as Helen Henry DeMarcus, Patton Oswalt as Principal Durbin — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Patton Oswalt stars in A.P. Bio, an NBC comedy that begins its second season Thursday, March 7 on NBC (8:30 pm et/pt).

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