More Japanese Gothic: Kuroneko and The Ghost Story of Yotsuya at the BFI Southbank

Winter is a time for ghost stories and the BFI has its Gothic season underway across various venues in the UK. The real meat is down in London where there are lots of talks and films that three Japanese film screened at the BFI Southbank over December. A fortnight ago I posted about Ringu and then blogger HS reported that there were screenings for the 1959 version of The Ghost Story of Yotsuya and Kaneto Shindo’s classic Kuroneko. Here’s the info on the films. Just hit the titles to get to the official pages and from there you can purchase tickets.

Kuroneko                                Kuroneko Film Poster

Japanese: 藪 の 中 の 黒猫

Romaji: Yabu no Naka no Kuroneko

Running Time: 99 mins.

Release Date: February 24th, 1968

Director: Kaneto Shindo

Writer: Kaneto Shindo (Screenplay),

Starring: Kiwako Taichi, Nobuko Otowa, Kichiemon Nakamura

This is Kaneto Shindo’s follow-up (in horror terms) to Onibaba and is drawn on from a classic folktale (kaibyo – Ghost Cat). I have seen this and planned to review it for Halloween but decided to go with Penance instead to cap my Kiyoshi Kurosawa season. Filmed in black and white this film is creepy but very, very beautiful with its atmospheric visuals, great lighting and creative sets.

A mother (Otowa) and her daughter-in-law (Taichi) live in a remote house next to a bamboo forest which makes them easy targets for a band of samurai who rape and murder them. Their spirits return in the form of vampiric black cats who lure samurai into a bamboo grove and murder them! 

The film will be screened on December 17th, 2013 at 6:10 PM and December 22nd, 2013 at 8:40 PM. Tickets are on sale already and seats for the Tuesday event are being snapped up!

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