While their mother is dying in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital, two young children are told a tale by their Icelandic grandmother about Einar the Lonely, his friend Gunnar, and the ... See full summary »
Inspired by fairy-tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red-Riding Hood, "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
A bag full of symbolic folklore about werewolves, or, rather, their sexual connotation. Granny tells her granddaughter Rosaleen strange, disturbing tales about innocent maidens falling in ... See full summary »
This film contains four distinct, separate stories. "Black Hair": A poor samurai who divorces his true love to marry for money, but finds the marriage disastrous and returns to his old wife, only to discover something eerie about her. "The Woman in the Snow": Stranded in a snowstorm, a woodcutter meets an icy spirit in the form of a woman spares his life on the condition that he never tell anyone about her. A decade later he forgets his promise. "Hoichi the Earless": Hoichi is a blind musician, living in a monastery who sings so well that a ghostly imperial court commands him to perform the epic ballad of their death battle for them. But the ghosts are draining away his life, and the monks set out to protect him by writing a holy mantra over his body to make him invisible to the ghosts. But they've forgotten something. "In a Cup of Tea": a writer tells the story of a man who keep seeing a mysterious face reflected in his cup of tea. Written by
In order to achieve an appropriate separation between the four parts of the film, director Masaki Kobayashi shot the film on two separate sound stages. Because of the tight shooting schedule, he would oversee the set design of one vignette on one sound stage while he filmed another on the alternate location. See more »
"Black Hair" ("O Cabelo Negro"): In the ancient Kyoto, a samurai decides to leave his poor but beloved wife and become a rich man marrying a wealthy wife. He misses his wife, and years later, when he returns to her, he finds a surprise waiting for him.
"The Woman in the Snow" ("A Mulher da Neve"): An old and a young woodmen are surprised by a snow storm, and the younger is saved by the spirit of a snow woman. He promises to never tell what had happened to him. Years later, he breaks his promise, disclosing the secret to his wife.
"Hoichi the Earless" ("Hoichi, O Sem Orelhas"): The blind Hoichi lives in a temple and magnificently plays his biwa and tells the sea battle of Dan-No-Ura between the clans of Genji and Heike. One night he is invited to perform his skills to a rich family and their guests in their house.
"In a Cup of Tea" ("Em Uma Xícara de Chá"): a samurai drinks water in a cup of tea, and he sees the soul of a former samurai. Later, he is haunted by the spirit.
"Kaidan" is the first work of Masaki Kobayashi that I have had the chance to see, and I am really impressed with such masterpiece of Japanese supernatural. Beginning with the visual using of awesome colors and cinematography, which look like paints on exhibition, all the stories are amazingly great without exception. The title of the third story spoils the twist, and the storyline of the second story was adapted in one episode of "Tales From the Crypt" years later. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Kwaidan, As Quatro Faces do Medo" ("Kwaidan, The Four Faces of Fear")
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