The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores – Part 3 (J-Horror, Kwaidan and House)

Part 1 Part 2 J-Horror and the Balance of Traditional and Modern Asian Music (House and Kwadian) The term J-Horror is often used within the critical evaluation of modern day Japanese film, usually to denote the success of two low budget horror films; namely Ringu (1998) and Ju-On (2002).  It is somewhat of a misnomer that the genre and its musical practices can be defined … Continue reading The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores – Part 3 (J-Horror, Kwaidan and House)

Kuroneko – Kaneto Shindo (1968)

Despite the horrific elements contained within, Kuroneko is ill served by being pigeon holed into the genre of horror.  The genre as a whole has a huge spectrum of intelligence and allegory but there’s more to Kaneto Shindo’s film than this, quite malleable, label.  It of course gives scares, and Japanese “horror” is well ahead of the western game in terms of sheer scare value but its … Continue reading Kuroneko – Kaneto Shindo (1968)

Onibaba – Kaneto Shindo (1964)

Last week saw the passing away of one of Japan’s greatest and most forward thinking directors to appear in the country’s golden age of cinema.  At the age of 100 Kaneto Shindo was still going strong having only made his last film in 2010 as well as his much overdue retrospective starting at BFI Southbank being mere days later, it seems his life was one … Continue reading Onibaba – Kaneto Shindo (1964)

Kwaidan – Masaki Kobayashi – (1964)

Thanks to films like Nakata’s Ringu and Shimizu’s Ju-On (The Grudge), Japanese horror is part of the popular pantheon of horrific cinema.  Many ghost films of the West borrow heavily from these two films but because of their enormous success, it seems that Kaiden (Japanese ghost stories) of the past are often overlooked for their more thrillingly modern counterparts. Looking past this injustice, it can be stated that Masaki … Continue reading Kwaidan – Masaki Kobayashi – (1964)