Ikimono no Kiroku
Record of a Living Being
(I Live in Fear)
a word of warning
The quality of the VHS tape I first got as a gift, and on which I based the first version of these remarks, was a disgrace and a shame.
The brand was The Classic Collection (a joint venture between Home Vision Cinema and Janus Films);
they are not quite so bad as Hollywood's Attic, but bad enough; especially since Janus Films do have a name to hold up.
Looks like a 2nd-generation 16mm dupe.
I really can't feel I have seen this one. It's heavily influenced by the outbreak of the cold war, with the USA, USSR, Great Britain and probably France all starting nuclear bomb testing, resulting in fall-out over the northern hemisphere. The general feeling of the movie is "A dying person can't work" and with the nuclear threat hanging over us, what's the use anyway? It's about an elderly man who sort of goes insane because of this. More people have shared his feelings. If you're an unlovable smart-ass like me, you'll note that this is directly opposite from Ikiru; but one person dying from cancer is not like all of humanity dying from what would be no more than a politicians' whim.
Kurosawa does not seem to have liked the movie too much; there were many problems. But Donald Richie feels this is the production he has talked most about. Well, of course it is a fascinating subject in itself and very much worth looking at
— provided you can find a decent copy.
Having since seen a decent copy, it's still far from my favorite. But at least it's interesting and much stronger than your average film.
Produced by Toho
113 minutes, B/W
Credits: Cast: producer
Toyo, his wife
Ichiro, his first son
Jiro, his second son
Yoshi, his first daughter
Sue, his second daughter
Kiichi's first mistress
Taeko, her daughter
Asako, his present mistress
—(Kiichi's son by a former mistress)
—(member of the family court)
The old man from Brazil
I Live In Fear Compelling Akira Kurosawa drama, and one of the first Japanese efforts to deal with the atomic bomb, stars Toshiro Mifune as an industrialist whose fear of a nuclear war and attempts to move his family to a "safe" country drive him to madness and financial ruin. With Eiko Miyoshi. AKA: "The Record of a Living Being." Soundtrack: Japanese mono; Subtitles: English. VHS
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