Kenneth Turan’s DVD Pick of the Week: What’s Old Is New

Kenneth Turan’s DVD Pick of the Week: Old People; Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa and Make Way For Tomorrow by Leo McCarey.

As the old year winds to a close, it’s pleasure to highlight some new releases of some of the best films ever made on the theme of age and aging, both released in fine Criterion editions.

From Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, best known for violent samurai films, comes 1952’s moving and emotional “Ikiru,” starring the peerless Takashi Shimura as an elderly bureaucrat who seeks to find meaning in his life as death approaches.

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Perhaps Hollywood’s best film on aging, the inspiration in fact for Yasujiro Ozu’s great Japanese film “Tokyo Story,” is Leo McCarey’s 1937 “Make Way For Tomorrow,” the story of aging parents shunted between uncaring adult children not up to the task. “Oh my god, that’s the saddest movie ever made,” Orson Welles said. “It would make a stone cry.” Indeed it would.

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