Tuesday, October 29, 2013

'Kwaidan' should be seen to be believed

The ghosts in MASAKI KOBAYASHI'S brilliant film, "KWAIDAN," aren't like the ghosts in other movies.
These spirits not only mingle with the living, they inject themselves into lives, marrying, reuniting and commanding those remaining on Earth.
I watched the film again last night.
A great cast -- including Rentaro Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe and Tatsuya Nakadai -- populates a quartet of unrelated stories adapted from the work of LAFCADIO HEARN/KOIZUMI YAKUMO, a Greek-born Irish writer who took up Japanese residency in the late 19th century.
Hearn's tales frighten because he makes the spirit-human interaction seem so commonplace, as if the veil between the two worlds only exists in name -- and is unable to protect us from the underworld.
"Kwaidan" is also a remarkably beautiful film -- one that needs to be seen to be believed.


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