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You can skip movies 10 times but never go back.
This is the film adaptation of four stories from the book "Kwaidan: Stories and studies of strange things" by Lafcadio Hearn and is actually a collection of Japanese ghost stories, taken from various sources, some even stemming from China.
As a collection of spooky, transfixing stories fabricated through heightened artificiality and blooming colors, Kwaidan slams the viewer into a mesmerizing trance. It's a beautiful mix of apparitions, surreal visions, and stories birthed from the past, and while the stories vary in quality (1st two - stunning, 2nd two - merely good), by the film's startling, dissonant conclusion, it doesn't really matter. This is a masterful movie.
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.…
A.V. Club review. Still can't believe "The Woman of the Snow" got cut for the U.S. release, as it's far and away the best of the four, in terms of both visual splendor and overall creepiness.
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.
Deserves so much more time than I have
I'm not sure that I've ever watched an anthology film before. I liked it.
Of these four tales, all set in the Japanese past and presumably based on or drawing from Japanese ghost stories and folktales, my favourite was "The Woman of the Snows", an eerie tale with a stern moral about keeping promises. But I must say I enjoyed them all.
The music is by Toru Takemitsu; based on listening alone I'd not have guessed it was him, but there is no doubt that it works very effectively. Percussive and spare, it's not something I'd want to listen to absent the images, but married to the images it invariably added to the experience in a good way.
This is now the third or fourth of Kobayashi's films that I have seen, and so far I like him more than Kurosawa.
(Watched the 183 minute version this time.)
Φανταστική λαογραφία, πανέμορφη αισθητική, ζωγραφισμένοι ορίζοντες και tableaux vivants που προκαλούν ρίγη και ανάμεσα εμβόλιμες σκηνές τρόμου που, παραδόξως, αποτελούν κομμάτι της ίδιας της παράδοσης. Δεν το είχα δει ποτέ για κάποιο λόγο, μου θύμισε πάρα πολύ Powell και Pressburger φιλτραρισμένους μέσα από ένα ανατολικό πρίσμα, πέρασα υπέροχα.
Twenty-second film in my Hooptober 3.0 marathon, which covers a country (Japan - 5 of 6), and a movie from before 1970 (2 of 5).
Beautiful, stylish film depicting four dark fairy tales from Japanese folklore. This composition of this film absolutely bleeds "Japan" in the best way. It feels like a lot of the imagery in this film has heavily influenced modern manga and anime, though perhaps that's just the influence of Japanese culture overall.
This film is a very long watch - the version i saw had a 3h3m running time - but it's well worth it.
One of the single most beautiful horror movies ever put to film; a bounty of morbid delights.
The horror genre more than any other seems to have a lot of anthology films, and of all of them Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan might be the best (which maybe isn’t saying much, anthology movies usually kind of suck). The film presents four traditional ghost stories from Japanese folklore but isn’t really truly a horror movie as one generally thinks of them and isn’t really trying to be scary exactly. The stories themselves have something of a campfire quality to them in the way they set up a supernatural situation then have the protagonist shortly have everything go wrong for them in spooky ways. The substance of the individual stories however is not really the point. Rather, the real joy in…
31 Days of Horror 2016: Day 14 KWAIDAN
It’s long been my opinion that every great filmmaker should try their hand at horror at least once over the course of their career. Horror directors sometimes repeat some of the same themes, the same scares, the same monsters, and it takes an outsider to bring something fresh to the genre every once in a while. Examples: Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark, Richard Donner’s The Omen, Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs, and so on and so forth. Taking a break from his politically charged sagas that addressed some of Japan’s sins, director Masaki Kobayashi decided to adapt a collection of ghost stories…
beware the ghosts of our past.
a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.