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I WAS BORN, BUT…

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I WAS BORN, BUT…

大人の見る絵本 生れてはみたけれど

(1932) Two boys — the younger played by Ozu child great “Tokkankozo” — go on a hunger strike when they see dad Tatsuo Saito toadying to his boss. One of the great silent comedies and Ozu’s first Kinema Jumpo “Best One” winner. Approx. 91 min. 35mm.

REVIEWS

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“Funny and devastating... The theme is the title: one is born... then the trouble begins.”
– Donald Richie

"Ozu's portrait is steeped in the blissful self-absorption of youth and also fixated on schoolyard codes of conduct, his protagonists' interactions with each other, their peers and grown-ups laced with behind-the-back funny faces and unspoken mores. A BUOYANT COMEDY!"
– Nick Schager, The Village Voice

"A silent film that doesn't feel silent at all. I Was Born, But… commands your attention with the authority of a great work of art. Every character—not just the boys and their parents but the bullies, the teacher, the sake delivery boy—is deftly sketched, comical, and real. A basic, direct style makes these boys' adventures, and their heartbreak, feel as fresh as if it all took place just yesterday."
– Dana Stevens, Slate

"From its opening image of a spinning wheel stuck in the mud to its succession of expertly composed and timed reaction shots, I Was Born, But... shows Ozu at the height of his subtle comic powers. There’s also a visual elegance to the storytelling, achieved through rigorous editing techniques. Ozu relies mostly on action and expression (intertitles are infrequent, as in much silent Ozu) to tell this alternately sly and sympathetic story."
– Michael Koresky, The Criterion Collection