Kurt Vonnegut's death and my keen reading of his last published book has made me somewhat mawkish. And for all that, I cannot help but think of Akira Kurosawa's' 1952 film Ikuru. Opinions may vary, but I think it is Kurosawa's best work.
It too, like Vonnegut's swansong is/was so very wise, It nonetheless offers this majectic closure with its unforgetable last scene. And yes, it has something to do with swings.
But whereas I can go to a library and put my hot little living hands on any work by Vonnegut, cinema --despite DVD -- is not as accessible if one wants to re-watch as easily as one can re-read.
And Ikuru is in my opinion one of the top five movies of all time for all those reasons that make me think of it while vale-ing Vonnegut.
But I think I have seen this movie twice when I have watched Kurosawa's Seven Samurai many times. It's an access problem you see.
Who knows of Ikuru?
But there is a trade off. You know there's this presumption so often played out over which film is the best movie of all time? Citizen Kane usually gets the nod. But there are some, of which I am among, who defer absolutely to The Third Man -- Carol Reed's masterpiece. And this is where acces can play a part -- you can even watch this great film on Google Video. But you'd have to be desperate to watch it all there.
(And besides I know it scene by scene/line by line).
So what is supposedly great, tends to feed off itself . And this is why the adolescent fire cracker of Citizen Kane is a supported so much. Great movie of course -- but so terribly flashy and full of itself.
As I get older and my tastes mellow, being different and out there isn't the same as being good. I'm more into content than being so distracted by form.
And this, if I can return to my theme, is the creative achievement of both Vonnegut and Kurosawa: so deceptively simple but so terribly good.