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.
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Beyond a reasonable doubt, the best coming-of-age film of all time. This film is about loss of innocence and the realisation that adults are just giant children. It's essential for any Ozu fan to see how his aesthetics came to be through this picture, and they are so fulfilling as always.
I love the way Ozu slowly reveals the essence of this film, which relates to the generational gap present in the majority of Ozu's work. The film is cyclical with the same path taken each day to school. Each time revealing something new, like a new behavior or new outlook on life. The train gates always come down, and the train always rumbles by, but the boys and their father change, age, and grow.
The first of Ozu's film's I've watched, I Was Born But... has some truly universal, and at times, sad messages about the nature of life under the authoritative pressures to submission in modern society. Its commentary seems cleverly layered within the narrative of film as the art of the industrial, suburban society it portrays. And of course, it's a humorous silent comedy as well. All in all, touching and true.