Kaidan (Kwaidan) (Ghost Stories) (1964)
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Critic Reviews for Kaidan (Kwaidan) (Ghost Stories)
The first episode builds an effective mood through its elliptical action and long, slow tracks through empty rooms, but this 1965 film soon levels off into academic stylization.
It is a compendium of four ghost stories adapted from Lafcadio Hearn, so determinedly aesthetic in their design and style that horror frissons hardly get a look in. Very beautiful, though.
Couple these sound effects and voices with some remarkable pictorial images and the consequence is a horror picture with an extraordinarily delicate and sensuous quality.
Extraordinary as Kwaidan's spectacles are, I'm even more impressed by its soundscape, the work of the great composer Toru Takemitsu.
Audience Reviews for Kaidan (Kwaidan) (Ghost Stories)
It takes real talent in an artist to make a ghost story scary and poetic, and here are four of them. Before, only in the Powell/Pressburger films I had seen such pictorial beauty.
a film containing four short films that are ghost stories from various points of the samurai era in japan. while all four stories were compelling, my perfect rating is mostly for the third story called "hoichi the earless man". hoichi is easily the greatest ghost story i have ever seen on film, with wonderful acting, flawless cinematography, and a haunting storyline. it was a pleasant suprise to see takashi shimura appear as well. the art direction and cinematography for all four stories was essentially perfect, and these four stories assemble to make one of the greatest films i have ever seen.
Four supernatural Japanese folk tales: a samurai is haunted by regret when he leaves his poor wife for a rich one; a snow-spirit spares the life of a young man on one condition; ghosts demand a blind harpist perform for them; a man sees an apparition in a cup of water. Slow, beautiful, hypnotic, poetic; eye-popping sets and masterfully eerie music. A masterpiece.
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