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Kaidan botan-dôrô (1955)
A classic kaidan story
Also known as Kaidan Botan Dôrô, this is a classic kabuki play written by San'yûtei Enchô. Adapted to the stage for the first time in July 1892. The story is the following: The chief characters in "Botan Dôrô" are Otsuyu, a beautiful maiden in love with Hagiwara Shinsaburô. There is also the young lady's maid, and a picturesque evildoer, Tomozô.
Otsuyu meeting secretly with her lover is suddenly surprised, and they are rudely parted. In despair, she commits suicide with her maid, and the ghostly shapes visit Shinsaburô nightly. A priest gives him a small golden image of the Goddess of Mercy to ward off her nocturnal visits, and puts up a charm to keep Otsuyu away. Tomozô, the hero's faithless servant, steals the image and tells his wife that the ghost of Otsuyu will appear and pay him a sum of money for hiding it, the influence of which prevents her from entering her lover's house. He is firmly convinced the ghost will appear, and his look-out for the apparition is so full of surprise and contrast, and the suspense so well sustained, that the audience is thoroughly keyed up in anticipation. Tomozô and his wife talk so much of the ghost that every moment they think she has come, and soon are trembling with fear, the frightened wife taking refuge under the large green mosquito net suspended over her bed. Otsuyu and her maid are suddenly seen to float behind the drooping branches of a willow tree, seemingly suspended in air, the maid carrying the ghostly lantern, shaped like a pink peony, that gives out a dim and intermittent glow. The transaction over between Otsuyu and Tomozô, the ghosts make their way towards Shinsaburô's house, but they cannot enter unless the Buddhist charm above the doorway is removed. This Tomozô accomplishes, and immediately as the two weird shapes vanish, a peony lantern is seen to rise mysteriously from mid-stage and without the aid of hands, sail through the air and enter an open space over the door. Shinsaburô is now left to the mercy of the ghosts, who claim him as their own and take him away from the land of the living.
The story has been made many times. Botan doro , Botan doro , Botan doro , Botan doro , Botan doro , Botan doro , Botan doro .
Yotsuya kaidan (1949)
More of a psychological drama than a horror story.
The first notable postwar film version of the Kabuki play Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan by Nanboku Tsuruya. It was first performed as a Kabuki play in 1821 and after 1900 made into many films. The play is actually based on contemporary incident of a lower-class samurai wife who went insane and disappeared after discovering that her husband had got another woman pregnant. In Nanboku's play the husband has someone poison his wife so that he could marry into a rich family, and the dead wife becomes a ghost who haunts him.
Lemon her husband does not feel any guilt for his actions, but still is presented as a despicable character responsible for the heroine's plight. Kinoshita presents the appearances of the dead Oiwa as simply the hallucinations of Lemon's guilt-wracked mind. When he commits suicide - a divergence from Nanboku's inconclusive ending where he remained alive - it is obvious he died from pangs of conscience rather than supernatural causes. The film was more a psychological drama than a horror story.
Made again in 1959 by Nobuo Nakagawa, and in 1965 by Shiro Toyoda.
Yotsuya kaidan (1956)
A classic Japanese kaidan
Lemon played by Tomisaburo Wakayama, known from the Lone Wolf and Cub films, is a samurai without work. He is married with Iwe, but his mother Maki wants him to marry Ume, a women from a richer family. Iwe soon finds out that her housebound wants to leave her for Ume. Maki gives poison to Lemon so he can kill Iwe. She dies but the poison gives her a disfigured face.
***SPOILERS*** Lemon now marries Ume, but on their first night as a married couple, Iwe haunts them. It all ends with Lemon killing Ume, her father and his mother. The ghost of Iwe now can rest. Lemon is slay ed by the people in the village.
A classic kaidan film adapted from the story Yotsuya Kaidan written by Namboku Tsuruya IV (1755-1839). The film is very close to the classic kabuki play, a Japanese theater form. The actor Tomisaburo Wakayama playing Lemon has make-up in the old kabuki style. We are also treated to some nice effects ghost wise. A classic film in the same style as Onibaba (1964) and Kaidan (1964).
I slik en natt (1958)
Gestapos hunt for jewish children one night during the world war 2.
The title of the film is borrowed from a poem by Wergeland called the Jew, and is also based on true events from the fall 1942.
The film deals about the German Gestapos hunt for Jewish children one night during the world war 2. A group of orphanages manages to escape from the Gestapo helped by a young doctor played by Anne Lise Tangstad. The children are transported to a farm and kept safe there, waiting for another transport over the border to Sweden.
Moes use of real German actors, Günther Hüttmann and Ottakar Panning, both speaking German in the film, adds an element of realism to the film. The director had himself experienced the terror of the SS-officers and saw the importance of Germans in these roles.
Today the film can be viewed upon as another Norwegian post war film. This film is made after NI LIV from 1957, and if it`s nomination from the Academy Awards has something to do with the making of I SLIK EN NATT is not known. Before his last film as director, I SLIK EN NATT, Moe made the year before a family crimefilm, PETER VAN HEEREN.
Does the jewish children make the border to Sweden, and what happens to the beautiful doctor? You have to watch it to find out.
Mors hus (1974)
Everybody loves their mother, but some goes beyond love . . .
Petter (Svein Sturla Hungnes) quits his studies, and break up with his girlfriend. He moves back to his homeplace, to his mother (Bente Børsum) who lives alone. There has always been a good relationship between Petter and his mother, and she doesn`t mind that he moves back home. When Petter finds a new girl at his homeplace, his mother reacts in a negative way.
This film is based on Knut Faldbakkens book "Sin Mors Hus" ("His Mothers House"), and was feared by the people in the filmbusiness in Norway due to its strong sexual content. Still it became a huge sucess at the theatres. It`s today known as one of Norways strangest films of the 70`.
A lurking evil in the Norwegian wilderness . .
This is a Norwegian attempt to do a slasher/horror film. The location, the Norwegian wilderness, is a place that most people takes advantage of and are familiar with. But in this film, something evil is lurking in the dark forest.
The movie begins with a drive to the wilderness, where the tv-company Real TV are having a team building. The point is to make the tv-show leaders know how it is to survive in the wilderness without any modern gadgets. Lasse and Per are two old buddies, and it does not take too long before they discover something. The rest of the film is how this discovery will affect the rest of the team, and the situation in the middle of nowhere?
This film goes back to the slasher/stalker/there is something out there genre. Most of the story takes place at night, but you can still see some dayscenes from the beautiful Norwegian nature. The film follows a few other horror films from Norway, if you can call them horror; De Dødes Tjern, Insomnia, Mørkets øy, 22. If you are a hard-core horror fan, you might find it bloodless, and non scaring, but for the average viewer this is a great scare.
If you are reading this, there must be something wrong!
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** Short review: The opening sequence is showing the two main characters Maria (Løkkeberg) and Karl (Nissen),playing a sex game. Nudity was a must in the Norwegian films during the 1970, and this is an introduction for all the later nudity scenes in the film. Maria has an affair with Lou, and leaves her Karl. Together with a friend of Lou, Jens, they steal weapons from the military, and robs a post office. Jens does not want to share the money in three parts, and tries to shoot Maria, but it ends with Maria shooting him. They hide in a house by the sea, Maria finds out she is pregnant, they have an argument, Jens shows up, Lou runs away, Maria and Jens get arrested by the police, And finally Maria goes home with her housebound Karl.
This is one boring film, hardly liked by anyone (I doubt even the director would like too see it today). It`s a modernistic film, with all kinds of flash-forward, flash backs . . . . hard cuts . . etc. Which is probably the only reason why it is mentioned today, but in my opinion it doesn`t work for today viewers, it just makes the film even more terrible. The plot; a women`s struggle for independent is pointless today. The only reason to watch this film, is to see the lead actress nude, which isn`t much too watch anyway.
Is it a nightmare, or is it real?
PLOT: Bjørn and Knut are two good friends. Together with Knut, Bjørn and his wife Guri goes for a trip in the Norwegian mountains to hunt. Knut has been in love with Guri since he first met her many years ago, but it was Bjørn who finally married her. In the mountains, the situation gets dramatic, when Knut tries to tell her how he feels about her.
The way the film is made is very unconvential. The actors talk directly to the viewer, and the narrator ask them questions about what they are thinking. With this metode we learn what they all think about each other. The film builds up to a climax, with a nice twist in the end.
A Norweagian attempt to make a film-noir.
BLACKOUT by Erik Gustavson is a film trying to copy the classic film-noir look seen in CHINATOWN, and in any film-noir from the 1940`s. He uses all the classic elements, femme-fatale, dark streets, elements of crime, murder mystery . . . .
Some people I know have this film as one of their favourites, but my opinion is it`s just a weak copy of the great american films.
Later he did another copy of a great genre, road-movies, with the film WEEKEND which was a failure in Norway.
En håndfull tid (1989)
This film actually runs 92 minuttes. Martin Asphaug won an Amanda for best norwegian film, and Camilla Strøm Henriksen won an Amanda for best female actress in "En håndfull tid" at the Norwegian international film festival.
Martin Asphaug uses all kinds of camera tricks, set-ups, fades, to tell two parallel stories about Old Martin (Espen Skjønberg), portraying the character of today, and young Martin (Nicolai L. Nilsen) as the same character 50 years earlier. The director uses the main charcters Altzheimers syndrome, and the fact that he is talking to his wife Anna all the time, to show us his memory of his time with Anna. The film`s POV of the character shows a young man who has just lost his father in a car accident, and goes to the west of Norway to buy some horses in the end of fall. He must take along a young girl, who has problems with her violent father.
The story of today tells about the character 50 years later, wanting to go to Anna. He escapes from his nursing home, going to the west of the country.
This is a funny movie. The two main charcter are today playing lead roles in very popular tv-soaps in Norway. The seriousness of the caracteres is absent because of this. The film is made almost in the same way as "The French Lieutenant's Woman", from (1981) in the way the two stories are bound together.
Exellent portray of the humans at the bottom of society . . . . .
This is the best documentary I have ever seen. It tells the story of some Junkies in Oslo (the biggest city in Norway) and in Bergen. We follow some persons around in their hunt for money for their daily doses of drugs, and witnesses how their daily life is, the film changes between interview and observing, and is a dark look at the people at the bottom of the society. Check out Trond Kvist`s other documentaries .