Sunday, June 12, 2011

Feline Curse

Kuroneko/Black Cat (1968) - Shindo
The film starts with the farmers- mother and her daughter-in-law, gang raped and their house burned down by a band of lawless samurai. The women's black house cat ringers around their charred corpses. The setting is warring medieval Japan.

When they appear again, they are beautifully dressed courtesans luring the samruai in to the bamboo forest in the middle of the night and sucking their blood dry. Distressed leader sends the rising young samurai to destroy these monsters. The fate would have it, the young samurai happens to be the son and the husband of the two farmers who were raped and killed.

As shown in his Onibaba, Kaneto Shindo again, shows his hatred for the ruling warrior class and greed. Black Cat follows the best Japanese ghost story traditon, a la Ugetsu. Also it is the rape revenge story that is far more artful and elegant. The theatrical set and dramatic lighting are beautifully composed. It also features some great wire work and beautiful day for night shots. Very worth checking out.

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