Close Up

1 - 28 July 2018: Close-Up on Kaneto Shindô

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Tickets: £10 / £8 / £6 Close-Up members
Box Office: 02037847970

"Throughout his remarkably prolific, long and fascinating career, Kaneto Shindô has remained at the center of major trends and turns in Japanese cinema. A sought-after art director and apprentice to Kenji Mizoguchi in the 1930s, Shindô made a name for himself in the 1940s as a prolific and popular screenwriter before working as assistant director to such iconic filmmakers as Kon Ichikawa and New Wave titans Seijun Suzuki and Yazuo Matsumoro. In 1950 Shindô formed one of Japan’s first independent production companies with actress Nobuko Otowa – who would later star in several of Shindô’s key films – and began to direct politically outspoken features with a distinct class-consciousness, focused principally upon the struggle of the lower and working classes – an interest which would culminate in his extraordinary study of a rural 20th century peasantry The Naked Island, considered by many to be Shindô’s masterpiece. [...] Shindô’s notable embrace of period ghost stories resulted in two important and influential films, Onibaba and Kuroneko, which maintained the critical Marxist stance of his early work and inspired a new interest in folk-tales and the “primitive” as a major theme." – Haden Guest

The Naked Island
Kaneto Shindô
1960 | 96 min | B/W | Digital
Japanese with English subtitles

Kaneto Shindô’s documentary-like, dialogue-free portrayal of daily struggle is a work of stunning visual beauty and invention. The Naked Island follows a family whose home is on a tiny, remote island in the Japanese archipelago. They must row a great distance to another shore, collect water from a well in buckets, and row back to their island – a nearly backbreaking task essential for the survival of these people and their land. Featuring a phenomenal modernist score by Hikaru Hayashi, this is a truly hypnotic experience, with a rhythm unlike that of any other film. read more

Onibaba
Kaneto Shindô
1964 | 103 min | B/W | Digital
Japanese with English subtitles

Deep within the wind-swept marshes of war-torn medieval Japan, an impoverished mother and her daughter-in-law eke out a lonely, desperate existence. Forced to murder lost samurai and sell their belongings for grain, they dump the corpses down a deep, dark hole and live off of their meager spoils. When a bedraggled neighbor returns from the skirmishes, lust, jealousy, and rage threaten to destroy the trio’s tenuous existence, before an ominous, ill-gotten demon mask seals the trio’s horrifying fate. Driven by primal emotions, dark eroticism, a frenzied score by Hikaru Hayashi, and stunning images both lyrical and macabre, Kaneto Shindô’s chilling folktale Onibaba is a singular cinematic experience. read more

Kuroneko
Kaneto Shindô
1968 | 99 min | B/W | Digital
Japanese with English subtitles

In this poetic and atmospheric horror fable, set in a village in war-torn medieval Japan, a malevolent spirit has been ripping out the throats of itinerant samurai. When a military hero is sent to dispatch the unseen force, he finds that he must struggle with his own personal demons as well. Kuroneko (Black Cat) is a spectacularly eerie twilight tale with a shocking feminist angle, evoked through ghostly special effects and exquisite cinematography. read more

Calendar

Title

Date

Time

Book

Onibaba Saturday 21.07.18 6:00 pm Book
Kuroneko Saturday 28.07.18 8:30 pm Book