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.
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.
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…
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.
the past is jealous.
Quite honestly (Kwaidanestly?), it's the best Asian horror I've seen.
Kobayashi combines the greatest elements of the painting-like cinematography (think: A Welles/Tarkovsky horror effort) and the ABSOLUTELY STUNNING musical composition by Toru Takemitsu to elevate the source material from simple folklore and round-the-campfire horror stories to masterclass filmmaking. Scenes where repetition is involved are never boring because the film's presentation is masterful at every level.
The Criterion blu-ray remaster is stunning.
With some creepy stories and ominous, jolting sounds throughout, Kwaidan is a good little freak show with absolutely breathtaking imagery for its time.
Maybe the most beautiful Japanese film -- and the scariest.
A revisit of Masaki Kobayashi's masterpiece of atmospheric horror, "Kwaidan" (1964), an epic collection of four spine-chilling tales of the supernatural, effortlessly enthralled yet again, with its majestic flourish, this time in a brand new, fully restored, uncut Criterion transfer. All four stories now appear in their full, unabridged detail, previously unavailable even in the earlier Criterion edition.
The new release is the complete 183 minutes version, with a mesmerizing image transfer that will make your jaw drop. The richness of the beautiful colours is significantly highlighted in this stunning transfer. The film's biggest asset is its chilling, slow-burning, otherworldly atmosphere, the likes of which are rarely matched, and this new edition with its sharper, more enhanced look, accentuates it…
One of the biggest reasons this works so well is because Kobayashi recognises that horror is a genre that inherently encourages formalism perhaps more than any other.
4 ultra creepy and enrapturing ghost stories photographed on some of the best stages and with the most unique camera work i've ever seen.
I'm not really the type of person for anthology films - oftentimes I find that whenever we are cluttered with many segments and when they land, they don't even hit. Friends of mine recommended both V/H/S films and when I came out I only found the final product to be just pointless found footage fodder, like I've never seen any of it a lot already. Yet with the many anthologies I've come across the one that always stood out to me was none other than Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan. Though not my favourite entry in the horror genre, there's an astounding amount of beauty put into such a work that always captivates me every time I come back, and the more…
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)