Kwaidan (1965)

Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi, 1965)

This exquisite Japanese masterpiece of traditionnal ghost stories reveals the many aspects of Masaki Kobayashi's great talent as a filmmaker and also as a painter and a set dresser. Almost entirely shot inside a huge airport hangar and completly painted by Kobayashi himself, Kwaidan tells three medival ghost stories.

Appart from being visually stunning it's obvious that the shooting was set inside, Its visual aspects add something unusual almost eerie to the story. It fits very well with the unsettling tales of the different ghosts. The bright colours of the Criterion transfert gives a undated perspective of this little gem.

Kobayashi is a very lesser known director, maybe in the shadow of his fellow compatriots like Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, Immamure, etc. But his films are as important as those other Japanese directors. His other films include: The Human Condition and Samurai Rebellion.

But, to many cinephiles, including your host, Kwaidan is his masterpiece!


  1. Very good review!

    I'm a big fan of Japanese Cinema so I'll probably check this one out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Great blog by the way, I'm glad I'm following as we have similar taste in film.

  2. Glad you liked the review and the Blog Jack!

    If you can put your hand on the Criterion release of Kwaidan you'll be more than satisfied!


  3. I loved this movie. I watched it early last October in prep for the Halloween season and I think it's going to become an annual viewing.

  4. Glad you share the love!

    Thanks for commenting!


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