Kwaidan: Hoichi, the Earless

Hoichi, The Earless, the third story in Kwaidan was perhaps the most visually and conceptually engaging to me. It explored a lot of things that I think about almost daily.

A story is not about facts.

And, and, and…

Kwaidan: The Black Hair

I learned how to take screen shots. Finally.

We watched Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan (1964) the other day. The stories and their theatrical visualization were really engaging, especially in the first three. The Black Hair had a moodiness to it that felt a bit gothic, but not merely for the sake of being “dark” and “creepy”. There were also some nice spatial relationships happening in quite a few scenes. My favourite part of it all was how his memory of his first wife was mostly confined to her work as a weaver, yet the lighting would change. When he was caught up in terror, the shape and colour of his terror changed rapidly. The hair, the separation of love and desire, the posturing of power, the decay from neglect, overgrowth, etc. are all old lovers. (As always, click image to view larger.)

Hiroshi Sugimoto

I had a dream not too long ago that I was performing on a stage for a handful of men and one woman. Over the course of my performance, I became more and more changed – seaweed, barnacles, shells, crabs, octopus. They were all over me. Most of the men didn’t seem to see it. Or I assumed they didn’t because they were still interested, giving me That Look. (But maybe they did. And maybe that’s why?) One of the men tried to intervene. I stood on stage after the performance, dripping sea water onto the hardwood stage, spot lite still on me. I watched him argue with the others.

I’m not off the hook either.