Thursday, November 14, 2013

I was born but. . .

The children of I was born but. . . 
I was born but. . . then I had to live! Sorry I haven't posted anything lately - I blame school as usual. Two weeks ago I watched another Japanese oldie from 1932 which I haven't yet had a chance to blog about. The film in question is I Was Born But. . . by prolific Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, and yes, that's name of the film, I didn't decide to go all tangential on you. Following the trend of pre-war Japanese films that I have watched thus far in my Japanese Cinema class it is available in its entirety on Youtube with subtitles in three languages - English being one of them. It's silent just so you know, but quite entertaining as it's a comedy!

The film depicts a family who moves to the suburbs so that their father can pursue a job. The story actually focuses mainly on the two children of the family, two boys, who must go to school and mingle with the local boys who already have a power structure already set up among them. They eventually find their place among them, but the whole process is quite charming. In our class we were asked to dissect this film through the lens of colonialism, power structure and the "power and importance of the image" as it pertains to the position of the emperor in Japan's various pre-war colonial projects around Asia. Viewed in that light there's ALOT of stuff going on here, but it's also a fun and whimsical silent film about funny and cute kids doing funny and cute kid stuff. But don't take my word for it! WATCH IT!    

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