I Was Born But . . . | Chicago Reader

I Was Born But . . .

This 16-millimeter documentary takes its title from the Japanese silent by Yasujiro Ozu, which offered a child's limited perspective on adulthood, but director Roddy Bogawa inverts that dynamic, delivering a middle-aged look at youth. Starting with the death of rocker Joey Ramone, he muses on his devotion to the LA punk scene of the late 70s and early 80s, his relationship with his father, and his ethnic identity. His deliberately flat approach favors extremely long static shots (of buildings, of his father practicing his golf swing, of himself reading old music magazines), as if they were inherently profound, but his themes never come together, which leaves this teetering between the hypnotic and the soporific. 90 min.

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