Ghost stories wend their way from Noh, Kabuki and the Bunraku puppet theater all the way through “J Horror” and the vengeful ghost ladies with invasive hair of today. There are many tales of love, bitterness and vengeful ghosts, but like a certain Scottish play, Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan is unique in having a curse associated with it.
The surreal swirl of stark futurism, psychedelia, and neon indulgence is…pleasantly overwhelming? Comfortably disturbing? Certainly it’s something that demands one’s attention even as it lulls you into a fugue state.
Unfortunately, the remainder of the film’s obsession with mythology building and referencing previous films results in a tangled mess that, despite being over two hours in length, still feels like an hour of the film is missing.
A crumbling ruin. A mist-shrouded forest. A lone samurai making his way home late at night meets a seemingly defenseless young woman. So begins the horror of Kaneto Shindô’s tale of ghosts, vengeance, and the wrongs visited upon women by entitled men.
Examples of Egyptian filmmaking date back to the beginning of the 20th century, with Cairo becoming a hub of commercial filmmaking in the Arab world with the introduction of sound. It was there that the country’s first “Hollywood-style” film studio was established.
Polish director Wojciech Has harbored no desire to make a political film. But in Poland under Soviet rule, where film promoting social realism was the mandate, not being political was the most political thing he could do.
A fairytale about a young girl attempting to navigate the many predators surrounding her becomes an allegory for the challenges of womanhood and the trials faced by then Czechoslovakia in the face of Soviet aggression.