Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, KWAIDAN features four nightmarish tales adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s classic Japanese ghost stories about mortals caught up in forces beyond their comprehension when the supernatural world intervenes in their lives: “The Black Hair”, “The Woman of the Snow”, “Hoichi the Earless”, and “In a Cup of Tea”.
Breathtakingly photographed entirely on hand-painted sets, the film is an abstract wash of luminescent colours from another world.
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Cast: Rentarô Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe
Language: Japanese (with English subtitles)
Runtime: 183 minutes
- 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from Criterion’s 2K digital restoration of Kobayashi’s original director’s cut
- Original monaural Japanese soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles
- Kim Newman on “Kwaidan” – interview with the film critic and writer
- Shadowings [35 mins] – video essay by David Cairns and Fiona Watson
- Original trailers
- A collector’s booklet featuring reprints of Lafcadio Hearn’s original ghost stories; a survey of the life and career of Masaki Kobayashi by Linda Hoaglund ; and a wide ranging interview with the filmmaker, the last he’d ever give.