The Japan Foundation Film Series Part 4: List

The Japan Foundation Film Series Part 4  The Best of Japanese Horror

  1. (1) The Tale of Oiwa's Ghost / Sep. 16 (Fri.) 19:00
    1961 / 94 min. / B/W

    KATO Tai rearranged the famous 19th-century play by TSURUYA Namboku, but in this film the hero mistreats his devoted wife driven by his blind ambition. The thirst for a successful career and better life destroys him in the end. WAKAYAMA Tomisaburo gives a powerful performance as Iemon, the antihero of the film, who is a violent, egoistic brute rather than a tragic hero. The passion of each of the main characters is spotlighted in turn, and as a whole tells a story of human karma. Kato, well known for such films as Long Sought Mother and By a Man’s Face Shall You Know Him, presents a stoutly built human drama inhabited by characters tossed around by their difficult lives.

    Director, Screenwriter: KATO Tai
    Based on the play Tokaido Yotsuya Kwaidan by: TSURUYA Namboku
    Cinematographer: FURUYA Shin
    Art Director: KATSURA Choshiro
    Music: TAKAHASHI Han
    Cast: WAKAYAMA Tomisaburo, FUJISHIRO Yoshiko, SAKURAMACHI Hiroko, KONOE Jushiro, FUSHIMI Sentaro

  2. (2)Yotsuya Kwaidan / Sep. 17 (Sat.) 14:00
    1959 / 84 min. / Color

    Oume, the daughter of a wealthy feudal family, falls in love with Iemon, an unemployed samurai. Iemon already has a wife, Oiwa. Oume uses Iemon’s friend Naosuke to remove Oiwa by poisoning her and...
    Film star HASEGAWA Kazuo’s first appearance in a horror film, it depicts the hero Iemon in a sympathetic, tragic light compared to other films based on the same tale. This is a love story in which the hero avenges his murdered wife. MISUMI Kenji is known mostly for his superb execution at period/samurai films. Among his other films are such popular series as the Zatoichi and Nemuri Kyoshiro films.

    Director: MISUMI Kenji
    Based on the play Tokaido Yotsuya Kwaidan by: TSURUYA Namboku
    Screenwriter: YAHIRO Fuji
    Cinematographer: MAKITA Yukimasa
    Art Director: OHTA Seiichi
    Music: SUZUKI Seiichi
    Cast: HASEGAWA Kazuo, NAKATA Yasuko, URAJI Yoko, KONDO Mieko, TAKAMATSU Hideo

  3. (3)Séance / Sep. 17 (Sat.) 16:00
    1999 / 97 min. / Color

    Junko, the wife of sound engineer Katsuhiko, has a very keen sixth sense. Invited to help police find a kidnapped girl, Junko could not use her extra-sensory powers to solve the case. The couple later finds the girl in a most unexpected place—inside Katsuhiko’s equipment container. Junko comes up with an idea and ...
    Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who directed Cure (1997) and Pulse (2000) presents a drama in which a couple’s peaceful routine is suddenly caught up in the wheels of fortune. The film’s restrained, quiet mood somehow increases the scariness of the unknown hidden in the ordinary.

    Director: KUROSAWA Kiyoshi
    Based on a Novel by: Marc McShane
    Screenwriter: OISHI Tetsuya, KUROSAWA Kiyoshi
    Cinematographer: SHIBANUSHI Takahide
    Art Director: MARUO Tomoyuki
    Music: ASHIYA Gary
    Cast: YAKUSHO Koji, FUBUKI Jun, ISHIDA Hikari, KISHIBE Ittoku, AIKAWA Sho
    17:40 - Talk by KUROSAWA Kiyoshi / Director (Free of charge)

  4. (4)The Living Koheiji / Sep. 17 (Sat.) 19:00
    1982 / 78 min. / Color

    Set in Edo period. Koheiji, an actor, and Takuro, a musician, and his wife, Ochika, grew up together and are traveling performers. Koheiji’s obsession for his friend’s wife grows until he finally demands that Takuro give up Ochika so that Koheiji might have her. Incensed, Takuro beats up Koheiji, believing that he murdered him. Then Koheiji begins to haunt Takuro and Ochika. The film is inspired by a novel based on an Edo-period play that features the ghost of an actor. This is the last film made by NAKAGAWA Nobuo, master of such films as The Ghost Story of Yotsuya and Hell.

    Director, Screenwriter: NAKAGAWA Nobuo
    Based on a Play: SUZUKI Senzaburo
    Cinematographer: HIGUCHI Ikio
    Art Director: NISHIOKA Yoshinobu, KAMON Ryoichi
    Cast: FUJIMA Fumihiko, ISHIBASHI Shoji, MIYASHITA Junko

  5. (5)Onibaba / Sep.18 (Sun.) 13:30
    1964 / 100 min. / B/W

    Set in war-torn medieval times, a woman and her son’s wife make a living by killing off defeated and fleeing warriors and selling their armor. A man who came back from the fighting tells them that the woman’s son was killed. The widowed young woman starts having an affair with the man who brought the news. The older woman becomes obsessed by jealousy and the fear that the younger woman would leave her, and scares the couple wearing a demonic mask. Partially based on the legends of onibaba (demon-hag), the film tells a dynamic story of unrestrained desires and instincts. The prolific SHINDO Kaneto, known for The Island and The Owl, highlights the earthy strengths of women.

    Director, Screenwriter: SHINDO Kaneto
    Cinematographer: KURODA Kiyomi
    Art Director: SHINDO Kaneto, MATSUMOTO Hiroshi
    Music: HAYASHI Hikaru
    Cast: OTOWA Nobuko, YOSHIMURA Jitsuko, SATO Kei, TONOYAMA Taiji, UNO Jukichi

  6. (6)Kwaidan / Sep.18 (Sun.) 16:00
    1964 / 183 min. / Color

    An omnibus film based on four short ghost stories by KOIZUMI Yakumo (Lafcadio Hearn).

    In Black Hair, an impoverished samurai abandons his wife in Kyoto for a position under a new master far away from home and ...
    In Snow-Woman, a young woodcutter meets a snow-fairy during a night of heavy snow storm and later ....
    In Hoichi, the Earless, an expert biwa player was enchanted by the ghosts of Heike warriors and ...
    In a Teacup depicts a samurai who sees the face of a leering man in every teacup he uses and...

    The film uses expansive sets and benefits from ethereal music featuring Japanese instruments. It received a special jury award at 1965 Cannes Film Festival.

    Director: KOBAYASHI Masaki
    Based on the novel Kwaidan by: KOIZUMI Yakumo
    Screenwriter: MIZUKI Yoko
    Cinematographer: MIYAJIMA Yoshio
    Art Director: TODA Shigemasa
    Music: TAKEMITSU Toru
    Cast: ARATAMA Michiyo, MIKUNI Rentaro, NAKADAI Tasuya, KISHI Keiko, NAKAMURA Katsuo, TANBA Tetsuro, SHIMURA Takashi

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