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After more than a decade of sober political dramas and social-minded periodpieces, the great Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi shifted gears dramatically for this rapturously stylized quartet of ghost stories. Featuring colorfully surreal sets and luminous cinematography, these haunting tales of demonic comeuppance and spiritual trials, adapted from writer Lafcadio Hearn's collections of Japanese folklore, are existentially frightening and meticulously crafted. In The black hair, a poor young samurai leaves his first wife to marry a rich woman. When he is unhappy in his second marriage, he returns to his first wife, who at first appears unchanged from when he last saw her. In The woman of the snow, a woodcutter is spared by a mysterious ghost-like woman in the snow, but must promise never to tell anyone what he has seen. In Hoichi, the earless, a blind musician-monk named Hoichi is commanded by a gathering of ghosts to sing the saga of their ancient deeds. The head monk paints Hoichi's body with prayer verses to protect him, but unfortunately overlooks Hoichi's ears. In In a cup of tea, a writer wonders what would happen to a person who drinks another's soul and finds out.

Item Details
Criterion collection
Criterion collection (DVD videodiscs)
Criterion collection (DVD videodiscs) ; 90.
Criterion collection ; 90
Apparitions -- Drama.
Ghost plays.
Hearn, Lafcadio, 1850-1904 -- Film adaptations.
Japan -- Social life and customs -- Drama.
Supernatural -- Drama.
Feature films -- Japan.
Film adaptations.
Foreign films -- Japan.
Foreign language films -- Japanese.
Ghost films.
Horror films.
Japanese language films.
Other Authors:
Aratama, Michiyo, actor.
Criterion Collection (Firm), distributor.
Kishi, Keiko, actor.
Kobayashi, Masaki, 1916-1996, film director, interviewee.
Mikuni, Rentarō, 1923-2013, actor.
Miyajima, Yoshio, 1909-1998, cinematographer.
Mizuki, Yōko, 1910-2003, screenwriter.
Motion picture adaptation of (work): Hearn, Lafcadio, 1850-1904. Kwaidan.
Nakadai, Tatsuya, 1932- actor.
Nakamura, Kanʼemon, 1901-1982, actor.
Nakamura, Katsuo, actor.
Ninjin Kurabu, production company.
O'Brien, Geoffrey, 1948- writer of supplementary textual content.
Ogasawara, Kiyoshi, 1936- assistant director, interviewee.
Prince, Stephen, 1955- commentator.
Shinoda, Masahiro, 1931- interviewer.
Sugimura, Haruko, 1909-1997, actor.
Takemitsu, Tōru, composer (expression)
Takizawa, Osamu, 1906-2000, actor.
Tanba, Tetsurō, 1922-2006, actor.
Tōhō Kabushiki Kaisha, production company.
Wakatsuki, Shigeru, 1914- film producer.
Watanabe, Misako, 1932- actor.
Two-DVD special edition.
2 videodiscs (183 minutes) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
4 3/4 in.
digital optical monaural Dolby Digital 1.0
widescreen (2.35:1) 24 fps
video file DVD video Region 1
Target Audience Note:
CHVR: Not rated.
Other Title:
Title on container: Kwaidan : a film by Masaki Kobayashi [DVD]
Kaidan [DVD]
Black hair.
Woman of the snow.
Mimi nashi Hoichi no hanashi.
Hoichi, the earless.
Chawan no naka.
In a cup of tea.
Based on the writings of folklorist Lafcadio Hearn (aka: Yakumo Koizumi).
Originally produced as a motion picture in 1965.
Widescreen (2.35:1).
Special features: New audio commentary by film historical Stephen Prince; Interview with Kobayashi from 1993, conduced by filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda; New interview with assistant director Kiyoshi Ogasawara; New piece about author Lafcadio Hearn, on whose versions of Japanese folktales Kwaidan is based; Trailers. Plus: container instert includes essay "No way out" by film critic Geoffrey O'Brien.
Director of photography, Yoshio Miyajima ; editor, Hisashi Sagara ; music, Tōru Takemitsu.
Cast for Kurokami: Aratama Michiyo, Watanabe Misako, Mikuni Rentarō.
Cast for Yuki-onna: Nakadai Tatsuya, Kishi Keiko.
Cast for Mimi nashi Hoichi no hanashi: Nakamura Katsuo, Tanba Tetsurō.
Cast for Chawan no naka: Nakamura Kan'emon, Takizawa Osamu, Sugimura Haruko.
DVD, NTSC region 1, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) presentation; Dolby Digital monaural.
In Japanese, with optional English subtitles.
Title from disc surface.
Black hair
Woman of the snow
Hoichi, the earless
In a cup of tea.
Publisher or Distributor Number:
Link to PAC
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