Grief and Vengeance: Otherworldly Tales

Film, Horror
The Ghost of Yotsuya JIFF
Photograph: Supplied The Ghost of Yotsuya

Time Out says

J-Horror classics are set to freak you out in this free film festival

Does the eerie stillness of kabuki theatre give you the willies? Still find long black hair triggering years after seeing The Ring? Then we have a free film series that's bound to be your cup of green tea. 

Japanese Film Festival is joining forces with the Art Gallery of NSW to present a season of classic Japanese horror movies spanning the 1940s to the 1980s. The free screenings are an adjunct to the ticketed Japanese Film Festival and offer a window into some of the best horror films ever made, covering themes of revenge, haunting and damnation. folklore   

The films have been selected to complement program two exhibitions. Japan Supernatural (Nov 2-Mar 8) will be at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with over 180 works by Japanese artists from manga legend Katsushika Hokusai to superstar Takashi Murakami. Retro Horror: Supernatural and the Occult in Postwar Japanese Manga (Oct 18-Jan 24) will take place at the Japan Foundation Gallery, showcasing two early horror manga pioneers, Hideshi Hino and Tsunezo Murotani.

Here’s the full program of horror greats:

The Bride from Hades (1968)
An engaged man falls for a mysterious and alluring woman who may or may not be the ghost of a dead courtesan.

Jigoku (Hell) (1960)
A young theology student is tormented by a mysterious figure following a hit and run incident, leading him down a dark path of death and destruction that climaxes in the underworld. 

Kwaidan (1964)
Masaki Kobayashi’s film received the Special Jury Prize at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s an anthology of four supernatural tales, from a man on the brink of death who is saved by a snow goddess to a blind musician who performs in a graveyard to a ghostly audience.

The Living Koheiji (1982)
Kabuki actor Kohata Koheiji is in love with his best friend’s wife. After a feud leads to Koheiji’s death, his ghost does not rest easily.

The Adventures of Tobisuke (1949)
In war-torn Kyoto, a kind-hearted puppeteer and a young girl desperate to find her lost mother embark on an adventure facing demons, ‘Fake Town’ and the Valley of the Dead.

Black Cat Mansion (1958)
In this nonlinear ghost story that mixes black and white and colour, a doctor and his wife move into an old house haunted by frightening apparitions of an old woman. 

The Ghost Story of Yotsuya (1959)
This adaptation of the 19th century kabuki piece is a tale of a murderous and greedy ronin samurai whose disfigured wife comes back to haunt him.

The films are free but booking online is recommended.


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