Synopsis

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Kwaidan features four nightmarish tales adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s classic Japanese ghost stories about mortals caught up in forces beyond their comprehension when the supernatural world intervenes in their lives: “The Black Hair”, “The Woman of the Snow”, “Hoichi the Earless”, and “In a Cup of Tea”. 

Breathtakingly photographed entirely on hand-painted sets, the film is an abstract wash of luminescent colours from another world. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the complete 183-minute original Japanese cut of Masaki Kobayashi’s masterpiece on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.

Buy This Title

Special features

Limited Edition Hardbound Slipcase [3000 copies]

A 100-PAGE Perfect Bound Illustrated Collector’s book featuring reprints of Lafcadio Hearn’s original ghost stories; a survey of the life and career of Masaki Kobayashi by Linda Hoaglund; and a wide ranging interview with the film maker – the last he’d ever give

1080p presentation on Blu-ray from Criterion’s 2K digital restoration of Kobayashi’s original director’s cut

Original monaural Japanese soundtrack

Optional English subtitles

Kim Newman on “Kwaidan” – a new interview with the film critic and writer

Shadowings [35 mins] – a new video essay by David Cairns

Original trailers

Advertisement
Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.