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  • Writer's pictureEugene

Living (2022)

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

A very hot day and a very busy weekend for RCC, what with three community cinema events and a stall at the local fete.

Actor Phil Philmar gave us a charming introduction to the film in the shorts, telling us the story of how he worked with Bill Nighy on a film and how this modest and self-effacing actor called out to him in the street a few weeks later.

We really liked Living. It was based on (or copied, scene by scene) Kurosawa’s Ikiru. We considered this 1952 Japanese film, which we’d seen at RCC some years ago, to be a masterpiece. Perhaps Living wasn’t quite up to this standard but there was plenty to admire.

We talked a little about the differences in the storyline, including the inspiring female colleague, who goes on to make children’s toys, bringing joy to the children of Japan. In the 2022 version, she becomes a ‘nippy’ in Lyons’ Corner House, giving up a bureaucratic job for something equally hierarchical. Maybe this didn’t work as well as the original.

Favourite moments in Living included the scene with Mr Sutherland’s daughter-in-law, cutting up a shepherd’s pie with barely repressed anger. The music seemed a little ‘mawkish’ and over-sentimental at times.

Living did make us reflect on wider issues, such as the poignant way life can become monotonous and how to change this. We talked about how being with young people can be rejuvenating, offering energy and hope, as it is easy to become jaded as we age.

Anne Goldstein

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