Monday, January 4, 2010

ONIBABA (Japanese) (1964)

Watching ‘Onibaba’ is really a refreshing treat for me. There are several reasons for it but the main one is that unlike watching Indian/ Hollywood films here I’m absolutely unaware about the director or actors or even film. (which sometimes play self afflicted conscious role while watching and appreciating the film) Here I didn’t have that conventional space for liking and disliking and that’s why I’m able to focus on its essence.

Director Kaneto Shindo told the story with almost minimalist approach, lesser dialogues, and raw visuals shot in natural light with single atmospheric setting of field and a shack. If I reveal anything about the plot it would be horrible crime so here’s just few random description of setting. An unfathomable vast field of grass, a dark killing hole, two women struggling with survival, a demon masked man, lust, myth and unthinkable horror. Conflict between three lead players plays crucial role once they introduced to one another in the film and that’s classic psychological role play of the film.

It’s a complete no nonsense psychological horror with a stamp of a great film but at the same time it’s fine allegory twisted with fine natural setting and fine subconscious experience. Shindo has almost treated perfection to all technical details- whether it’s shot selections, camera angles or background score. I just love the way he brought raw and wilder experience to the characters the way they eat, sleep or have sex.
A brilliant & not to miss film for all those who love world cinema.

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