I Lived, But...
(Ikite wa mita keredo - Ozu Yasujiro den)
With Chishu Ryu, Shohei Imamura, Haruko Sugimura.
Japan, 1983, 35mm, color, 118 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
Directed by Kazuo Inoue, who once served as an assistant to Ozu, and shot by Ozu’s beloved cameraman Yuharu Atsuta, this revered film biography is a loving study of the master filmmaker. Produced by the Shochiku corporation where Ozu shot nearly all of his films, I Lived, But... serves as a lasting tribute to the director with clips from nearly two dozen films, and interviews with actors (including Chishu Ryu) and former assistants (including Shohei Imamura).
I could really accept these Ozu families, I’ve always accepted the way they worked. In a way, they are very traditional families. But I never had the feeling in an Ozu film that the structure of these families was repressive, or suppressive, of the individuals. Whereas I don’t like American families at all. In American films, I mean. And in reality. These Japanese families are so strong to me, even though I have nothing to do with them: I have nothing to do with the way they eat, or with the way they sleep, or with the way they get drunk all the time. It has nothing to do with me; and I feel so close to them that, if I had to choose, I’d rather sleep on the floor, and sit my whole life on the floor, and get drunk everyday, and live in an Ozu family, than pass a single day as the son of Henry Fonda...