Mad Rush by Philip Glass (1979)
Minimalism, classical, contemporary classical, ambient
Ikiru (To Live) directed by Akira Kurosawa (1952)
The film examines the struggles of a minor Tokyo bureaucrat and his final quest for meaning. Kanji Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) is a middle-aged man who has worked in the same monotonous bureaucratic position for thirty years. His wife is dead and his son and daughter-in-law, who live with him, seem to care mainly about Watanabe’s pension and their future inheritance. After learning he has stomach cancer and less than a year to live, Watanabe attempts to come to terms with his impending death. He plans to tell his son about the cancer, but decides against it when his son does not pay attention to him. He then tries to find escape in the pleasures of Tokyo’s nightlife, but after one night realizes this is not the solution. In a nightclub, Watanabe requests a song from the piano player, and sings “Gondola no Uta” with great sadness. His singing greatly affects those watching him. The song is a ballad encouraging young women to find love while they are still young and beautiful, for life is short.