Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5
Original title: Otona No Miru Ehon-Umarete Wa Mita Keredo
Japan, 1932. Shôchiku Eiga. Story by Yasujiro Ozu, Scenario by Akira Fushimi, adaptation by Geibei Ibushiya. Cinematography by Hideo Shigehara. Music by Gwenael Mario Grisi, Donald Sosin. Production Design by Takashi Kono. Film Editing by Hideo Shigehara.
The most delightful of Yasujiro Ozu’s silent films, this was later remade by the director himself as the full-colour, full-sound Good Morning. Two little boys grow up in the Japanese suburbs, full of mischief and mayhem but also keen to be the envy of the neighbourhood. When they find out that their kindly father is only a regular clerk at his office and not the king of the whole world, they stage a silent protest against their parents in an effort to get them to try harder and be more successful. There are some not so subtle but deliciously sly comments to be made here about Ozu’s ideas of class background versus individual qualifications, but its being told through the experiences of children makes it enjoyable and not heavy-handed or obvious.