Close Up

1 - 21 July 2018: Onibaba


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

"Shindô’s best known film, and original screenplay, is a frightening meditation on avarice and the dark, primordial bonds of family. One of the great jidai-eiki of the Sixties, Onibaba presents a nightmare vision of 16th century rural Japan torn apart by the chaos of perpetual war and famine. The fervent Marxism of Shindô’s early work underlies the dark fable of a sub-proletariat mother and daughter who subsist and survive by murdering desperate samurai in order to sell their arms and armour. The cryptic folk tale quality of the film is heightened by the haunting, propulsive score by the little known master composer Hiraku Hayashi and by Shindô’s dramatic use of expressive landscapes." – Harvard Film Archive

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