Yasujiro Ozu

I Was Born, But . . .

I Was Born, But . . .

One of Ozu's most popular films, I Was Born, But . . . is a blithe portrait of the financial and psychological toils of one family, as told from the rascally point of view of a couple of stubborn little boys. For two brothers, the daily struggles of bullies and mean teachers is nothing next to the mortification they feel when they realize their good-natured father’s low-rung social status. Reworked decades later as Ozu's Technicolor comedy Good Morning, it's a poignant evocation of the tumult of childhood, as well as a showcase for Ozu's expertly timed comedy editing.

Film Info

  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Japan
  • 1932
  • 90 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 10: Silent Ozu—Three Family Comedies

Silent Ozu—Three Family Comedies

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

$35.96

I Was Born, But . . .
Cast
Tatsuo Saito
Yoshi
Tokkan Kozou
Keiji
Hideo Sugawara
Chounan
Mitsuko Yoshikawa
Haha
Takeshi Sakamoto
Iwasaki
Teruyo Hayami
Fujin
Credits
Director
Yasujiro Ozu
Scenario
Akira Fushimi
Adaptation
Geibei Ibushiya
Cinematography
Hideo Shigehara
Editing
Hideo Shigehara
Art direction
Yoshiro Kimura
Art direction
Takejiro Tsunoda

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Eclipse Series 10:
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Yasujiro Ozu

Director

Yasujiro Ozu has often been called the “most Japanese” of Japan’s great directors. From 1927, the year of his debut for Shochiku studios, to 1962, when, a year before his death at age sixty, he made his final film, Ozu consistently explored the rhythms and tensions of a country trying to reconcile modern and traditional values, especially as played out in relations between the generations. Though he is best known for his sobering 1953 masterpiece Tokyo Story, the apex of his portrayals of the changing Japanese family, Ozu began his career in the thirties, in a more comedic, though still socially astute, mode, with such films as I Was Born, But . . . and Dragnet Girl. He then gradually mastered the domestic drama during the war years and afterward, employing both physical humor, as in Good Morning, and distilled drama, as in Late Spring, Early Summer, and Floating Weeds. Though Ozu was discovered relatively late in the Western world, his trademark rigorous style—static shots, often from the vantage point of someone sitting low on a tatami mat; patient pacing; moments of transcendence as represented by the isolated beauty of everyday objects—has been enormously influential among directors seeking a cinema of economy and poetry.