Sunday, June 13, 2010


Made during the height of the atomic bomb scare (especially concerning to Japan were the Bikini Island experiments), I LIVE IN FEAR is the kinda incoherent story of a dude, Toshiro Mifune, playing a older head of a family, who is scared shitless of the idea of atomic bombs and radioactive fallout. He's pretty wealthy since he started a foundry years ago, but recently he's burned through the money building a fallout shelter. Now he's abandoned that idea and wants to sell everything and move to Brazil and take his entire family with him including his two mistresses, their kids and even a kid from an ex-mistress! His family has had enough of his crazy ravings and wants him declared mentally incompetent so they can prevent him from selling everything.

I like that idea a lot.  Unfortunately, when Kurosawa and company started writing the script they meant it to be a satire, but as they progressed they decided to change it to a tragedy! That was a bad idea and it shows. Not only is this Kurosawa's biggest box office bomb, but I thought it was way too slow. The other problem is I didn't like anybody in the film. Mifune just acted like a maniac completely out of touch with reality and his family came across as a bunch of greedy pigs. The entire thing was a bummer and time hasn't helped it at all. The movie would have been much better if Mifune's character was pulled back in a little to make his fears seem more realistic and less paranoid. But that's just my opinion, what do I know?

One interesting thing was Kurosawa had the entire cast run 20 days of full rehearsals before they started filming! That's crazy. Also Kurosawa used a three camera technique a lot during this movie.

Skip it.