Watch I Live in Fear putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 from N/A votes
||Release: 25 Jan 1967 /
||Director: Akira Kurosawa,
||Synopsis: An aging, industrialist Japanese man becomes so fearful of nuclear war that it begins to take a toll on his life and family.
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I Live in Fear, more accurately translated from the Japanese as Record
of a Living Being, marks a move towards gloomier, more pessimistic
works from Kurosawa. It is, as far as I know, the earliest film to deal
head-on with the issue of nuclear weapons. While Japan's own Godzilla
(1954) and US films like Kiss Me Deadly (1955) made metaphors for the
destructive capabilities of the bomb, I Live in Fear looks directly at
the unspoken social terror by which those other allegorical films were
But this is not a one-issue film. Kurosawa also rails against the
problems in a typical patriarchal Japanese family both with the
family elder's demanding control over his children and also the younger
generation's disrespect for the old man. However, an overarching theme
seems to be an attack on individualism. Niide, the patriarch seeks only
to save himself and his family. Throughout the picture we are reminded
that there is a wider society out there, beginning with the opening
shots of crowded streets scenes (which remind me of the beginning of
The Public Enemy). So Kurosawa puts several of his political eggs in I
Live in Fear's basket, but the points are skilfully woven together
around the theme of the nuclear threat.
While we aren't confronted with an actual demonstration of the effects
of nuclear war, the imagery of total destruction is there in subtle
ways. The iron foundry which Niide owns resembles a ruined, burnt out
city. At one point, Niide is startled by the beginning of a
thunderstorm the perfect metaphor for a nuclear strike; a flash, a
boom and rainfall (in other words, the radioactive fallout after the
explosion). It's a slightly obvious device, but the timing is perfect.
One of the most haunting images comes towards the end, in a scene where
a dusty wind is blowing through Niide's house, flapping through the
pages of a book he has left open on the floor.
Kurosawa's regular leading man Toshiro Mifune is daringly cast as the
elderly Niide. With makeup ageing his features, the thirty-five year
old is in a role unlike any he had played before. He's perhaps a little
too lively to convince as an old man, but what counts is that he brings
as much power to the performance as he did to his role as Kikuchiyo in
Seven Samurai the previous year. His standout scene is the one in which
he confronts Dr Harada after getting off the bus, and confesses that he
is now terrified. Kurosawa cleverly amplifies his speech by having it
take place under a road bridge. Kurosawa's favourite supporting actor,
Takashi Shimura, plays Dr Harada, and turns in a strong performance as
a kind of consistent voice of reason throughout the picture.
One criticism I sometimes have of Kurosawa is that in his effort to
make a point, he occasionally forgets to make a film enjoyable for the
audience, and this is somewhat the case here. I Live in Fear is not the
most entertaining of Kurosawa's pictures. On the other hand, it's not
all that long, and there's a slightly hysterical tone to it that
occasionally makes it spellbinding. Kurosawa said this was the picture
that he was most proud of, and you can see why. It was a flop at the
Japanese box office, and has never been all that popular, but as a
record of the atmosphere of the times, it really deserves more
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