22 October 2010

Kuroneko (1968)

Written & Directed by: Kaneto Shindô
Full credits at IMDb

At the climax of Kuroneko (Black Cat), a dreamy Nihonese ghostie from 1968 in revival at Film Forum, a samurai thrusts his sword at an evil female feline-god who wants him to return her severed arm. She’s also a demivampire, and the warrior’s mom—at least, she used to be. This wacky-transcending movie is like the I Spit on Your Grave of rural Japanese peasantry, with an added anti-war angle. When it opens, a mother and daughter are robbed, raped and murdered by feral marauders—hungry, idle soldiers who then torch the house and burn the bodies. This, Shindo stresses with nonchalant silences, is the simple, horrible reality of life during wartime.

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