|No, Toyo Odagiri is not looking at her cellphone. This is 1952, okay?|
Ikiru (1952) is, indeed, inspired in part by Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), and the spirit of Fyodor Dostoevsky is there, too.
The premise of Ikiru: what happens when a person -- in this case Mr. Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) -- figures out that he (or she) has only six months or a year to live?
For one thing, Mr. Watanabe wants to spend more time hanging out with Toyo Odagiri (Miki Odagiri aka Santo), who is so full of life and mischief.
Ikiru is a film about nothing less than the meaning and purpose of life.
As Roger Ebert phrased it on September 29, 1996: "I think this is one of the few movies that might actually be able to inspire someone to lead their life a little differently." (Link to full article here.) No higher praise needed.
Today's Rune: Flow.