Thursday, September 30, 2010


This is no easy film and certainly not a kind of film which one can comprehend fully in a single viewing. Luis Bunuel’s ‘The Exterminating Angel’ is almost challenging film and connotative text loaded with metaphoric and surreal layers of satire that boiling up multiple interpretations from its viewers. And still nobody fathom it hundred percent except its maker-the Master Bunuel himself who gave the clear clue to audience before the beginning of the film- “The best explanation of this film is that, from the standpoint of pure reason, there is no explanation.”

As film opens we see the sophisticated group of men arrives to mansion where they’re invited for dinner party. At the beginning of the party the servants escape for no apparent reason leaving only the head servant to serve the guests.The host couple manage to keep the party engaging and soon the party is over. But quite surprisingly none of the guests turned out of the mansion. The guests keep talking about leaving the mansion but nobody is able to move outside for days and nights. Confused hosts push their hospitality further without food and water. They’re the men trapped in a strange and queer self afflicted prison of inertia. “Only miracle will get us out”, said the one, “…unless everyone in city died’, said another. And we witness their irrational behavior and instincts running free in this stuck up situation showing us their true color of animalistic behavior under their sophisticated social disguise. They are fighting for a drinking water, eating paper, and dwelling in incest, witnessing nightmarish hallucinations and a lot of unimaginable chaos all from Bunuel’s mind.

There’s another absurd thing occurring outside the mansion. Just like insiders, not a single man makes it to move inside the house, as if some ominous thing cursed them! Bunuel has clearly drawn a demarcating line between the class of bourgeoisie and proletariat, each unwilling to cross their own world. There are many puzzling scenes that fit under the category of the unexplainable aspects of life and human behavior. The guests fighting desperately to fill glass of water through one of the pipes on the wall draws clue to us. We see lot of symbolic references in forms of sheep and a bear roaming freely in house and the last frame where sheep are again moving towards the church amid the chaos on street.

One of the radical Bunuel film of all-time.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

LOS OLVIDADOS (Mexican) (1950)

If I have to choose only a single most stimulating director of all-time, without thinking much I would choose Luis Bunuel; the second next would be Werner Herzog. Well, it’s quite early statement made by somebody who has seen just four Bunuel films so far but believe me it’s not lofty one by any means. Watching his films is challenging experience and demands active contemplation even after you finished watching them. ‘Los Olvidados’ is quite early Bunuel film, made much before he made those path braking films in later part of his career. Though it has less surreal and more straight Bunuel, it’s absolutely worthwhile to watch for all serious cinema lovers.

Based on true facts and factual characters as said in the opening, the film is set in slum ghetto of Mexico, we witness the group of poor lost children centering around three doomed boys. The adolescent Pedro is a lost child, reminding you Truffaut’s protagonist in ‘The 400 Blows’. “I want to behave good but I don’t know how,” said the confused lad to his mother in one of the scene. He struggles to be good boy in eyes of his mother and constantly failed to be one in company of his incorrigible friend Jaibo, the boy who escaped from reformatory prison and killed a boy next. He keeps popping up like evil leading Pedro to the world of nightmare. The third is the boy who lost his father living with blind beggar.

The film has length of just one hour fifteen minutes and still Bunuel done a terrific artistic job showing us so much to ponder and contemplate; he interwove many themes and characters with shocking behavior. Instead of being sympathetic you hate these street urchins pelting stones towards blind beggar. These are boys hard to transform in bad company. I would like to recollect his equally brilliant film ‘Viridiana’, where an angelic figure tried to transform the life of beggars and what happened next is the thing to watch rather than read.

The admiration of Bunuel lies in his sarcastic tone towards society and contradictory behavior of human irrationality. He extended his vision showing us often eluded themes of human guilt, desire, dream and irrationality of uncontrolled behavior with few striking and surreal images. The tone is more contradictory and aggressive and it’s these things which emphasize the level of discomfort and disturbance to viewers. Provocative scenes are signature Bunuel and though there are few of them here too- milk dropped on bare thighs of young girl, Jaibo gazing his friend’s mother and off course Bunuel’s regular fetish skin show of legs.
Unlike Neo Realist cinema Bunuel didn’t show dark reality with emotional undertones; his reality belongs to untouched higher ground of mind and psychology; too disturbing, indifferent and eschewed from emotions or sentimentality. As a matter of fact, you constantly shift your feelings of love and hate for the protagonist Pedro or his widow mother or even the blind beggar who uttered in the end, “They should be killed before their birth.” In most of his films, the characteristic focus lies in showing the hidden reality of so called social animal and it disturbs us, shocks us to realize the punch line that ‘we all are social hypocrites.’


Saturday, September 25, 2010


A private detective was hired to keep an eye on General’s younger daughter who has fallen in bad company and is likely to damage herself and her family. Investigation follows trail with murders, double cross and romance with elder daughter. Howard Hawks who made possibly a film in many genres made this film noire masterpiece based on Raymond Chandler’s novel with more twists and turns than we imagine.

Generally its John Huston films who made Humphrey Bogart an iconic Hollywood star but Hawks this film represents him the man to watch as Private detective Philip Marlowe. His on and off screen chemistry with Lauren Bacall gave its natural charm too. However I like Martha Vickens, the younger nymph sister who spread infectious charm from the very first entry. The B&W camera work and editing successfully maintain the mood and pace of noir.

Though it’s acclaimed film noir classic, it quite surprisingly missing several standard noir elements. There are more femme fatales but no flashbacks, Marlowe is not out and out dark antihero pulled into the world of lies and deception but a man who knows his profession in full confidence and control. The film is heavy with fine dialogues but there’s more talk than action and above all narration is more direct than intriguing. Its characters either absent or visible on screen keep your head busy and with its fast paced narration and a plot with murders, blackmail and deception; quite puzzling to keep in mind who’s who especially Shawn Regan, Joe Brody and Eddie Mars.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Lavishly produced Technicolor Musical about a night club dancer of Brooklyn who made up to Vanity cover girl and Broadway leaving her sweetheart Danny- only to realize that fame and fortune are no substitute for true love. Starring Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly and directed by Charles Vidor, the film proved to be the turning point in career of Gene Kelly establishing him as one of the brilliant choreographer, dancer, and actor packaged in one who later gifted us two classic musicals of all-time, ‘An American in Paris’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. The highlight of the film is Kelly’s amazing foot tapping ‘Alter Ego’ dance pairing with his own double. Along with Kelly’s energetic moves and fine choreography, it has great set designs, costumes and fine musical score. The sole reason to watch is obviously the chemistry between Hollywood’s two legends-one is mythical beauty, the other is powerhouse of talent.

Recommended to Kelly fans and classic cinelovers.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


“I have absolutely no personality at all. I am a chameleon, when I am not playing a role, I am nobody.” – Peter Sellers

Meet Chance/Chauncey Gardiner, a child at heart dumb, innocent old man who worked his whole life as a gardener to his Master’s house. He’s compulsive TV addict and remained in the house ever since his birth. Never been to the outside world and never been into the car; the only world known to him is through television. He knows only one thing by heart- gardening. As film begins we witness the death of his old Master and soon he has to evacuate the house on attorney’s short notice and treads into the outside world with a bag and umbrella. What happens to him in plausible events and how Chance becomes Chauncey Gardiner- the man who inspired the American president is a tale of joy and fun of verbal misunderstanding and relatively connotative humor; quite a rarity nowadays!

No other actor than Peter Seller had done the same justice to this role, it’s naturally one of the most graceful and memorable character of his later career. More than acting, it’s Sellers’ influence and personality molds the character which is quite low key and quirky. Sellers was so impressed by Jerzy Kosinsky’s original novel that he offered him to pen screenplay of the film also. Hal Ashby’s careful and nurtured direction gave the film gentle, calm and serene touch. Worthy to mention is the act by the other old man- Melvyn Douglas as Senator Ben.

A finest feel good drama…watch it for brilliant Peter Sellers.


Monday, September 20, 2010

TOPKAPI (1964)

Jules Dassin repeated the successful formula of his earlier classic heist film ‘Rififi’ here. Whether it’s faultless planning, exciting execution, fine introduction of assembled cast and half an hour thrill ride leads to climax but he added the fun and comic elements too.
This time the place is Topkapi museum of Istanbul and the target is the dagger encrusted with four greatest emeralds of the world. A task was set up by an enigmatic lady and his long time professional partner who surprisingly wanted amateurs consist of a mute gymnast, a hulk, a guide and an electric toy maker. Peter Ustinov as not so smart man shuttling between Turkish cops and thieves is just brilliant here. Melina Mercouri, Maximillian Schell and Robert Morley are also impressive nevertheless.

In the original novel ‘The Light of the Day’ written by Eric Ambler is the first person narrative of Arthur Simpson played here by Peter Ustinov as supporting cast and he deservingly won best supporting actor award too. The lead character of mesmerizing thief lady Elizabeth Lipp played by Dassin’s wife Melina Mercouri was absolutely absent in the novel. Dassin also took some liberty with original too but everything is alright as he once again made a fine entertainer as far as classic heist films are concerned.

But for me, ‘Rififi’ is still Dassin’s best contribution as far as heist films are concerned. The great B&W frames, brilliant film noir touch and above all performances loaded with more than half an hour silent meticulous and detailed jewel heist sequence ever filmed on screen. The excitement was as original and palpable as watching those nitroglycerine loaded trucks in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s ‘The Wages of Fear’.

One of the most entertaining heist films of all time.

Ratings- 7.5/10

ANATOMY OF HELL (French) (2004)

“A girl is man’s sickness.”

A young homosexual man was paid to spare few nights with a lonely young woman saved from her attempt to commit suicide. It’s first night and against his unwillingness or interest, he keeps staring full frontal nudity of the woman lying in her bed.
‘The fragility of female flesh inspires disgust or brutality,’ said the man.
‘What should we fear most? Nothingness or brutality?’ replied the woman.
Its opening of the film which rather than arousing your basic instinct, hits you hard to contemplate what you’re going to watch next. This is my second Catherine Breillat film after equally brilliant ‘Fat Girl’ and I must say she’s the auteur as far as warfare of gender sexuality is concerned.

Breillat is bold and extreme filmmaker challenging the norm and social stereotypes of women sexuality that ends up showing us repressive and demure woman. Her portrayal completely refrains from erotic male gaze what we commonly found in commercial films. Woman director like her can only possible in France! Her explicit obsession of sex and violence demands sound contemplation. It’s a loaded feminist text critiquing man’s hypocrisy, patriarchal mindsets full of threatening dual moral codes with perpetually futile and foolish myths about woman’s chastity. There’s just few flashbacks of childhood showing us how innocent curiosity leading to the instincts of sex and violence transforming a boy into a man and a girl into a woman in a long run.

Blood is highlighted as metaphor in many scenes; in the beginning we see the lonely lady slits her wrist and her blood stained clothes as she returns from hospital, the stains of blood in open ending too and the shocking and explicit images- a man shocked to see blood on penis and another where the woman and the man shares a water dipped with vaginal blood!!! Seems disgusting and irritating on surface isn’t it?
But its Breillat’s brilliant shocking tactics to prove her point about paradox of gender sexuality with bipolar world of pleasure and pain, man and woman and self and other. For woman, blood is acceptable part of their existence attached by nature contrast to man, it’s shocking, disgusting horror. As said in one of the line uttered by the woman- “… the body of women calls for mutilation and yet no part of it is excessive. Men rant against something that’s invisible.”
Disturbing but strong feminist film with explicit sex and violence…recommended only to selected mature audience.


Saturday, September 18, 2010


“We master the ideas, which are nothing, but not our emotions, which are all.”

Perhaps the best way to sum it up this Jean Luc Godard masterpiece it to call it- ‘An Elegy filmed on Modern Youth.’ Under the clever title he once again hit us hard a brilliant intellectual film (blank verse) targeted to the directionless modern youth of that era. In one of the film caption he had cleared his stand- This film could be called ‘The children of Marx and Coca Cola make of it what you will.’ What makes it still as relevant and fresh is his visionary stand with uninhibited satirical punch on modern society.

The film explored the postmodernist misanthropic view of new generation and their gender roles programmed and guided by modern society: Girls are empty glamour dolls, self proclaimed pop stars, and pawns of consumerist culture. She’s what today’s upper middle class metro girls too enthusiastic about career and still unclear and gullible what to do with their early owned money, independence and sexuality. Boys are graceless, aimless instinctual fantasy seekers and wannabe revolutionaries. For both of them ‘Love’ becomes the most loose and corrupt word losing it’s innocence charm.

Godard objectively showed the psyche of a boy and a girl through a static conversation scene in washroom- Jean Pierre Leaud and Chantal Goya, both look so refreshingly honest in their expressions; perhaps the reason why Godard abstained casting his routine actors. On another survey interview scene we witness the awful answers of 19 years old wannabe model addressing debatable political- social questions. Like all of his films it has Godard content loaded with his trademark reactionary stand of commercial cinema shuttling between episodic shifting narrations, with political and gender themes, jump cuts and sexual innuendoes all with punching shots of irony aiming on shameless face of so called progressive society.

I can’t resist sharing few brilliant quotable lines:
“Philosopher and film-maker share a generation’s look.”
“Man’s existence not determined by his conscience. Rather, the reverse.”
“Kill a man and you are a murderer. Kill thousands and you are conqueror. Kill them all and you’re God.”

Must for all Godard fans.

Something about the Master from the Master-
This is what Satyajit Ray wrote about Jean Luc Godard in ‘Our Films Their Films’, a gem like book for all serious lovers of cinema.

“Godard is the first director in the history of the cinema to have totally dispensed with what is known as the plot line. Indeed, it would be right to say that Godard has devised a totally new genre for the cinema. This genre cannot be defined, it can only be described. It is a collage of story, tract, newsreel, reportage, quotations, allusions, commercial short, and straight TV interviews- all related to a character or a set of characters firmly placed in a precise contemporary milieu. A cinema of the head and not of the heart, and therefore, a cinema of the minority.”

But then Ray gave a brilliant piece of advice for all the directors who’re going to follow him as the role model (we know who are they!!!) Ray further wrote- “He (Godard) has been bad model for young directors simply because his kind of cinema demands craftsmanship of the highest order, let alone various other equipments on an intellectual plane. In order to turn convention upside down, one needs a particularly firm grip on convention itself. This Godard had, thanks to years of assiduous film study at the Cinematheque in Paris.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


“We spend our whole life trying to stop death by eating, inventing, loving, praying, fighting, killing. But what do we really know about death? Just that nobody comes back. But there comes a point in life, a moment when your mind outlives its desires, its obsessions, when your habits survive your dream…Maybe death is a gift.” - Kevin Spacey as David Gale

A highly intelligent and innocent University Head of Philosophy is caught on death row on charges of student’s rape and murder of his colleague. A lady reporter is chosen to interview the convict for three consecutive days prior to the day of his death execution. What looks like a thrilling and intriguing is also a moving political account of the thinking man who supported anti-death penalty and its flawed capital punishment judicial system. Director Alan Parker involves us ‘whodunit’ through series of flashbacks, showing us scene of crime, smart investigation along with few flaws of domestic and emotional drama. But what saves it from being ordinary or forgettable experience is its ending; by ‘ending’ I do mean not climax when drama is over but the last few seconds frame meticulously hid in the film to prove the point summing up the crux of the man and his crime.

The best reason to watch the film is brilliant Kevin Spacey, once again in a memorable and tailor-made role for him, finely supported by one of my all time favorite Kate Winslet and Laura Linney. If Spacey is the face of urban liberal thinker fixed as existential fanatic fighter, the later is fine objectively thinking reporter transforming into subjective empathy knowing the crux of the matter. Spacey is one of the brilliant actors who know how to say lines with his fine command of speech in stress, accent and intonation and he got some of the striking lines in the film. Here’s one which makes all of us think hard- “Fantasies have to be unrealistic because the moment, the second you get what you seek you don’t, you can’t want it anymore. In order to continue to exist desire must have its objects perpetually absent. It’s not the ‘it’ that you want, its fantasy of ‘it’.”

Highly recommended.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


One of the quintessential, outrageous comedy of all-time by Billy Wilder. When he made it, its taboo and risky territory for both Hollywood star/actors and director to make a successful cross dressing comedy full of spoofs poking fun at gender sexuality but Wilder made a cheerful package loaded with fun and entertainment with all the ingredients in perfect formulaic balance.

Two unemployed musicians accidentally witness a gangster shootout in early thirties of Chicago and escape under disguise of woman and unite with girl band on train. Both of them lured by vulnerable charm of lead singer Sugar, without revealing their true identity under circumstances when gangsters are still on chase. Wilder managed to get fine performances, chemistry between actors with hilarious situations, cleverly written cheesy gags and fine timing. The difficult task was not just looks like a woman but behave like a one in presence of mythical beauty Marilyn Monroe and both Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are so convincingly play their parts without making it too burlesque. Poor Lemmon, its Curtis who got all the long kisses from Marilyn!!! Monroe is immortal beauty for sure showing all her gifted curves and Wilder who directed her in ‘The Seven Year Itch’, summed up his experience working with the most popular pin up girl of all-time: “More has been written about Marilyn Monroe than about World War II, and there are many similarities.”

Though AFI’s top rating as the Best comedy ever made is quite disputable; the film is nostalgic classic of old Hollywood.


PS- Bollywood’s Rishi-Neetu starrer ‘Rafoo chakkar’ is cent percent rip off this classic.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Like every time once again Werner Herzog just made me speechless and it’s damn difficult to utter anything about the madness of his filmmaking. He’s the filmmaker who made absolutely path breaking films like ‘Fitzcarraldo’, ‘Aguirre-the wrath of God’, ‘Stroszek’, ‘The Enigma of Kasper Hauser’ and now the film about dwarfs. Only Herzog can make something radical like this; making a film entirely on cast consists of dwarf men showing us an unimaginable chaos from beginning to end. I’m sure you have never seen something like this.

As film opens we see the group of pygmies overthrowing the asylum institution turning rebel against the instructor in absence of principal. Quite unlikely to Herzog film, it has elements of wicked fun like watching Bunuel films. Without winning our sympathy, the dwarfs here represent the uncontrolled mess of madness letting out free. Whether it’s harassing instructor, two blind dwarfs or destroying telephone cables, trees, flower pots and above all the scene where they made mess of driverless circling car throwing every available object from typewriter to plates (he repeated circling car again in ‘Stroszek’). The dwarfs here are really monsters. We see the change of violent behavior of chicks too! And yes, there are some chaotic real images which you can only expect from him- crucified monkey, kneeling camel and unstoppable boisterously laughing dwarf named Hombre! Again a memorable Herzog character for sure!

There are many who pointed the film as crude satire on fascism and there’re many reasons why the film struggled terribly when it was released. The film was banned initially in Germany since Herzog became controversial men bearing hatred from political wings, animal rights activists and religious organizations for disturbing and ridiculous portrayal. But Herzog without any gimmicks made an honest film which makes you think hard and contemplate. Talking about the film Herzog said in book “Herzog on Herzog’, “It is not midgets who are monstrous, it is us and society we have created for us.”

Highly recommended for all Herzog fans.


Friday, September 10, 2010


"Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you've got to go deeper".
– David Lynch

Six years ago ‘The Guardian’ made a joint survey based on public opinion poll and a panel of international critics regarding the best director of current time. The Top forty list has some of the brilliant names- Scorsese, Coen Brothers, Tarantino, Wong Kar-Wai, Bella Tarr, Terrence Malick, Cronenberg, Miyazaki, Fincher, Miike and others but the man who score the top position is none other than David Lynch. There are many close rivals in substance, craft, look and intelligence but as far as originality is concerned he scored maximum points among the rest.

Eraserhead is debut full length film of Lynch and it’s undoubtedly an experimental cult film with an unconventional plot set in an industrial waste land loaded with bizarre and surreal imagery. It’s absolutely challenging film for your head like most of Lynch works. Lynch himself called it “dream of dark and troubling time.” One can see the stamp of Lynch as the auteur in all three shocking scenes- dinner party scene, dream sequence of Henry’s head to pencil machine operator and the climactic scene where Henry cuts the bandage of deformed baby and feel paranoia.

Without using any commercial material except special effects in few scenes Lynch absolutely made a film with his independent touch. The peculiar use of mechanical sound, B&W bizarre camerawork, negligible dialogues, neurotic characters looming between symbolic heaven and hell and absolutely awesome imagination that envy any creative directors. It’s a kind of film which opens up more intensity after several viewing like his the most intriguing ‘Mullholand Drive’. But again it’s an out and out head product of Lynch; amid his all terrific creativity he skipped the heart here. My favorite Lynch film still remains ‘The Elephant Man’ where he beautifully combines his heart and head making everlasting experience for all audience.

If you don’t mind watching a challenging film with unease, disgust and full of weird surreal underpinning than it’s out and out film which blow your mind away!!!


AMISTAD (1997)

“In a courtroom whoever tells the best story wins the case.”

In 1839 the African slaves started bloody revolt with the leader Cinque on board of Spanish ship named La Amistad. Despite their efforts to free themselves, the Spanish navigators betrayed them and tread them to US shore where they were put on trial on charge of murder and the case thrust into the white politics full of black and white. Director Steven Spielberg’s this film opens brilliantly with bloodbath scene on ship (kudos to great Janusz Kamninski) and has fine actors such as Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman and Matthew McConaughey, though it’s Djimon Hounsou as Cinque seems more impressive.

Film moves us in buts and pieces especially in Cinque’s moving flashback take showing us brutal and inhuman treatment to slaves on ship, inspired by a film which considered as magnum epic of Hollywood. And while making it epical/ historical drama, Spielberg missed the point. The drama here is overt political than personal statement on anti slavery. Spielberg invoked the emotions but not with heart at right place. He told the story from the white man’s point of view; again the white men fixed the real justice for black men, nothing unusual!!! Climactic courtroom drama is all sympathetic one sided show without any conflict! Spielberg off course has noble intentions but surprisingly he missed the punch and subjective side of story telling. Seeking references of holy bible and the history of American revolutionaries; at the end the film uplifts the spirit and victory of the American courts and not the poor African slaves got free to their roots.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010


“With lies you may go ahead in the world but you may never go back.”

An American couple is on Trans-Siberian train journey from Beijing to Moscow. On their way they share their compartment with a young couple with whom they form quick bonding. At one of stopover the husband fails to pick up the train and soon the wife traps in a journey with murder, guilt and drug trafficking in the presence of smart cop. The film is an average thriller with fine performances of Emily Mortimer as tormented wife and Ben Kingsley as Russian cop, again an impressive act. The first half is quite slow and dramatic in parts but from the second half it sets thrill with tension rolling between a smart cop and the protagonist. Not a quite suspense film but a tense crime thriller where an innocent trapped in a drug trafficking tries to hide her crime under panic. Don’t digest the end; quite Hollywood!!!


Monday, September 6, 2010


A landmark film for both Johns- Director John Ford and John Wayne. Its first film where both icons worked together gifting us one of the classic western of all time. I haven’t seen much of Ford films but after watching this I believe that Ford was truly an artist, the film was damn 70 years old and still it gives you a beautiful nostalgic feel of that era. Stagecoach sets a journey with diverse set of passengers amid the danger of Apache attack. On surface the passengers look idiosyncratic but as film moves forward we see their true characters. Ford portrayed all the passengers in interesting and memorable character sketches- the loudmouth banker, an exiled prostitute, a pregnant wife of soldier, booze addicted Doctor, a sheriff, and above all an outlaw hero pursuing revenge. Ford brought bit of everything for everyone with moments of drama, fun, romance, adventure, action accompanied by gentleman heroes and lovable characters.

One can see the mastery of Ford on all the technical matters of filmmaking especially camerawork which became inspiration for many legends like Kurosawa, Bergman, Orson Welles to name a few. The sequence of Apache attack and chase sequence shot spectacularly and it’s really breath taking one. It’s with this film Ford introduced great Monument Valley to screen with wide panoramic shots. It was he who brought to screen the pure western- a classic visual experience before it corrupted with inclusion of many commercial elements. I think every western filmmaker owe something to John Ford in that respect.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

KWAIDAN (Japanese) (1964)

My first Masaki Kobayashi film and after watching it I must say I would love to explore more of him. The film is haunting and creative bouquet of four supernatural horror stories each with surprise ending. The film won special Jury prize at Cannes Film Festival in 1965. Well, it’s not cup of tea for those who’re obsessed with gory, torture or zombie horror flicks. But for those who love to watch fine psychological-supernatural horror films, it’s a big treat.

Kobayashi’s use of artificial sets loaded with bright colorful canvas of background and changing fluorescent shades of light bring elegance of fantasy to screen. Beautiful cinematography and illusive visual effects add haunting atmospheric tension reminding me Dario Argento’s ‘Suspiria’, though there’s huge dichotomy in treatment. The climactic dawn of ‘The Black Hair’, the background depicting the giant eye in ‘The Woman of the Snow’ and the illusive Buddha temple scenes of ‘Hoichi, the Earless’ (the best part IMO) where blind Hoichi is playing Biwa or are just matchless example of classic Japanese cinema. The last part ‘In a cup of Tea’ is the shortest but intriguing one.

Highly Recommended.


PS- Thanx Vikram for this recommendation. As you said, Both ‘Kwaidan’ and ‘Onibaba’ are absolutely classic psychological horror from Japanese cinema.