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Old 09-20-18, 09:52 PM   #1
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"Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge





Kwaidan (1964)



Selected by hbsvb


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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2018 DISCUSSION | 2018 LISTS

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Last edited by Chad; 10-15-18 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 10-04-18, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

Ok... so who's the joker that suggested a 3+ hour movie for the 'watch a high number of films challenge'?!? This ought to count twice but that would be cheating; "checkmate" you to me. [Seriously I am looking forward to checking out Kwaidan and perhaps ashamed I had not seen it earlier]
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Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-04-18 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 10-04-18, 03:30 PM   #3
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

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Originally Posted by Undeadcow View Post
Ok... so who's the joker that suggested a 3+ hour movie for the 'watch a high number of films challenge'?!?
I was thinking the same thing when the list first came out. At least it's scheduled for a Friday.
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Old 10-05-18, 08:47 AM   #4
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

3 hours and subtitled, so you have to keep your eyes on the screen. :-)
Looking forward to it though. Very highly rated. I have the feeling I saw it once, but can't remember a thing about it, so probably not.
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Old 10-05-18, 09:55 AM   #5
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

Are we sure we haven’t chosen this one before? I swear we’ve had substantial discussion of this film here.

I double-checked and it doesn’t appear to be in any of the subsets or even the all-too-brief monthy horror club, but maybe it was an “unofficial” selection for the Criterion September 30th choice before my begging to make that day officially part of the Challenge paid off?

Oh well, probably just a false memory since most of my Criterion discussion is here, and this film is more memorable that most.
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Old 10-05-18, 03:15 PM   #6
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

Finished it. It's a gorgeous film and an interesting look at the ancient Japanese culture. I felt like I needed to watch it on a day when I had more patience. Felt super long and slow to me today. Glad I watched it though.

Last edited by jholmes; 10-05-18 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 10-05-18, 05:26 PM   #7
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

If anybody likes Samurai flicks I highly recommend Harakiri by the same director. It's another excellent film that I'd put up there with Akira Kurosawa's best samurai films.
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Old 10-05-18, 06:19 PM   #8
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

I saw the shorter Criterion DVD many years ago but with 20 minutes added I consider this a first time watch. The sets and visual aspects were amazing. I liked all the stories although I did think the third one "Hoichi the Earless" went on a bit too long. My favorite was the second story "The Woman in the Snow". The sets and lighting really set the tone for an eerie tale, especially the eyeballs in the sky (for some reason that really got to me) and the almost garish colors used for some of the outdoor scenes. The snow storm looked great. The twist at the end of this one took me by surprise. Instead of the promised death for breaking the pact which I was expecting, the man's happy life is destroyed and there is a constant threat of death should he not do well by his children. A fate worse than death.

All in all, I'm glad I finally got to see the longer version and in a great looking Criterioin Blu-ray.
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Old 10-05-18, 07:03 PM   #9
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

Watched my Criterion DVD today, but might own the BD buried somewhere. I liked my viewing today enough to re-watch it right away if I find it. Curious how many of the 20 new minutes I’ll notice.
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Old 10-05-18, 09:29 PM   #10
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undeadcow View Post
Ok... so who's the joker that suggested a 3+ hour movie for the 'watch a high number of films challenge'?!? This ought to count twice but that would be cheating; "checkmate" you to me. [Seriously I am looking forward to checking out Kwaidan and perhaps ashamed I had not seen it earlier]
That would be me. 😳

I thought I remembered watching (and enjoying) it in a previous horror challenge, but looking back at previous challenge lists, I watched it during a previous Criterion challenge.
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Old 10-05-18, 09:47 PM   #11
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

For the first 'half' of the miniseries I was beginning to suspect that the Japanese also had a thing about women being evil, and that it wasn't just me. One guy's wife is a literal ice queen and the other is vengeful hair - I'm sure there is a scholarly tradition that explains this but if I was a cynic it would seem misogynistic.

The matte painting backgrounds are spectacular; those things must have been giant.

The third segment is overly long, they should have added that time to the snow one instead. Although I liked the snow segment it's never quite clear why the woman does these rules at all (rules she seems to explain then readily bend/break) - it's stylish but I'm probably not high brow enough to 'get it.'

I agree with omike that the snow tale is one of the stronger segments.
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Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-05-18 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 10-05-18, 11:01 PM   #12
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

I agree with you guys that the third segment was way too long. That's where it lost me. I was very engaged for the first two. Agree, too, that the woman in the snow is the best one. The last one was the weakest, I thought.

Last edited by jholmes; 10-06-18 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 10-05-18, 11:19 PM   #13
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

My memory was also that a whole story was missing from the DVD but when I looked at some reviews to see which one I discovered that "The Woman in the Snow" was cut by the American distributor for the theatrical release (DVD Savant review) but the Criterion DVD was a 161 minute cut which had all four stories. I dug out the DVD and confirmed that. The Blu is 183 minutes.
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Old 10-06-18, 03:32 PM   #14
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

Finally had the opportunity to watch the blu. I would highly recommend the commentary. During some of the slow spots, it was really helpful. I was losing the wifey by 2 hours and turned on the commentary and she stayed for the rest. A lot of good stuff here. I've never seen this one, but I really do love the samurai ghost stories (Kuroneko, Onibaba, Yotsuya Kaidan).
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Old 10-06-18, 04:36 PM   #15
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

Ya'll are crazy, Hoichi the Earless is the best segment. Absolutely mesmerizing. . And I say that as a big fan of Tatsuya Nakadai(the star of The Woman of the Snow).
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Old 10-06-18, 05:00 PM   #16
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

I think the first three segments are equally great. Not sure what to think about the fourth. Maybe the BD version has more to flesh this out, but it seems like a light and humorous little coda, perhaps trying to say something about the nature of writing.
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Old 10-08-18, 10:37 AM   #17
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Re: "Kwaidan" Reviews/Discussion - 2018 Horror Challenge

Very dreamlike, especially the sea battle. I'll have to check out the Blu-ray sometime.
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