Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.
Film #10 of the "Scavenger Hunt" Challenge!
Task #9 : An Art House Film!
Normally I avoid anthologies like the plague! I personally prefer full feature films as I feel short stories don't have enough time to compel and amaze you! Nor do I feel it leaves enough time to develop characters!
With that being said Kwaidan hit the sweet spot! While its supernatural themed tales were subtle when compared to other tales of this genre I found them to be potent nonetheless and if I were to describe it with one word it would be Haunting!
The cinematography was absolutely striking! I was enchanted with all of them except for the last tale! When all is…
Takes the experiences of watching a play, reading a book of folk tales, viewing a painting, listening to avant garde music, and having a dream and turns them into a movie. A stylized theatrical back drop, a lighting change, a slightly off-kilter motion, a slightly off-sync cue in Toru Takemitsu's otherworldly soundtrack and suddenly you're transported into the dream. Timeless, but maybe 1960s Japan would have special attraction to moral lessons like: "next time stay at home" or "keep your promises, for the sake of the children, because the past will come back to haunt you" or "remember the past, tell its story well, but don't blindly adhere to it" or "don't be a security obsessed jerk who drinks a soul in my unfinished story or whatever the lesson was in that last one."
I love anthologies. Maybe it's my growing attention issues, but bite-sized nuggets of stories, especially ones linked by theme or style are a more-than-welcome alternative to the immersion I can feel with films that use long running times to tell a single, epic story. Kwaidan obviously fits the bill, and - despite the rating (discussed later) - was beautiful and just the right amount of scary. For the sake of the rating, here's how I liked each separate story:
The Black Hair - 7/10
Kobayashi gets things started with the most overtly-terrifying tale. It's a sad love story with a gruesome twist, and is interesting in and of itself as a tragic tale of regret.…
This is a sumptuous visual feast that through delirious colours, sets and imagery offers up four Japanese tales of the supernatural that all cast a spell and get under your skin over the nearly 3 hour running time. A must-see for fans of Horror and Japanese cinema from the Director of Harakiri and The Human Condition.
It was great to see a movie which has a genuine feeling of spookiness and atmospherics dressed in eerie horror...Among the four tales i loved the first two immensely,the third felt overlong and did not excite me much except for that famous sequence,the fourth was short but effective.
Kwaidan aesthetically strays about as far from realism as one can go, yet is all the better for it. In dealing with the unknown of the spirit world, Kobayashi cinematically just goes for it here, demonstrating his Japanese ghost story chops with some wonderful artistry (including expressionist backdrops) and unforgettably haunting supernatural imagery (the woman of the snow, wow!). There were certain shots in this film that even made me wonder what a Kobayashi Alien film would have looked like, its partial influence over some subsequent horror classics can most certainly be felt. Kobayashi's cinematic approach to these stories is what is most interesting, and his involvement in traditional tropes such as scary Japanese women with long black hair is…
As with all horror, illusions of "mastery" in Kwaidan are based on elements that relate to immediate amazement rather than permanent emotional stimulation. Kobayashi's Kwaidan is technically incredible but really is as simple as its description suggests. Highly recommended, but for me, this doesn't really compare to The Human Condition or Harakiri.
My favorite segment was A Woman In The Snow but this was just a beautiful film with four stories equally excellent...
Film 26 of the "Scavenger Hunt #5" Challenge!
Task 28. Long John (At least 2 and half hours)
Jayce's August Scavenger Hunt
I did not really know what I was going into, but I generally like anthology films, and this one was no different. It features four stories, all based on Japanese stories and legends. Each of the segments were fantastic, with wonderful music and acting, as well as some truly beautiful scenery. My favorite story is likely The Woman in the Snow, a story which I knew in a different form from Tales from the Darkside. It is a simple story, but one that is very haunting. Overall, just an amazing film, and one I have all intentions of seeing again.
"The samurai did not understand the value of love"
Kwaidan maintains a constant balance between quality and tedium, unfortunately weighted towards the latter. Though some of the film's greatest moments could be attributed to the slow pace and atmospheric buildup, when the payoff isn't satisfying or (more often than not) completely absent, the buildup could feel like wasted time. This film is a test of one's patience, a patience that is not often rewarded, but when it is, it is rewarded with some of the best horror of Japanese cinema.
To save having to mention it in each of the following paragraphs, I should preface the bulk of this text by saying that a common problem shared between each section…
Horror as a miasma of guilt, shame and regret. Among the most striking looking films in the entire's genre's history, which puts it neck and neck with Black Sabbath for best anthology horror film ever made. Only the last story feels like a tonal combo-breaker. It's fun (and just as gorgeous), but I think Kwaidan would be a stronger whole without it. A-
It's not particularly scary but it is beautiful, eerie, unsettling, and exotic. Also a bit on the slow side although that helps establish the mood of the film. Some of the effects achieved purely through lighting are fantastic. Highly recommended.
A rightfully praised anthology of four ill-fated tales about man's encounter with the unknown that is forever etched on to my cornea.
Right from the get go the skillfully effective yet sparse use of carefully selected goose bump-sounds to heighten the atmosphere is very prominent. Secondly the grandeur of the lavish visual style, due to the expressive use of hand painted backdrops, effective lighting and the use of studio-sets, makes your jaw drop to the floor. Add some saturated Eastmancolor to the mix and the audiovisual score is five stars all around.
Then we come to the stories. All four episodes are exquisite although some are a tad bit lengthy and slow (and i even saw the edited 161min version),…
Artsy, muted horror anthology from Japan, based on four ghost stories by Lafcadio Hearn. The first episode builds an effective mood through its elliptical action and long, slow tracks through empty rooms, but this 1965 film soon levels off into academic stylization. Masaki Kobayashi directed; in Japanese with subtitles. 164 min.
Well-made, atmospheric ghost stories. Some dragged a bit, but overall a very effective and influential anthology.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…