Kaidan Bancho Sarayashiki - A completely unknown little gem based on the famous ghost story Bancho Sarayashiki, this short film is surprisingly moody and delivers an impressive melodramatic version of the traditional kaidan.
In this unique take on the traditional Japanese ghost story, a woman's love is misused, and unfortunately she pays with her life, only to come back seeking vengeance against the lover that murdered her. Unlike the usual story, there is an element of mystery here, as Okiku's ghost seeks to find the truth before acting against her beloved. Can Okiku's ghost find out the truth behind her tragic death?
A brilliant little black and white film with an all-star cast featuring some of Japan's most popular actors including the ever popular Misora Hibari as Okiku.
Its 45 minutes running time seems to be just right. There's no filler, no slack, no mood-killing inappropriate comedic relief. Everything is very stark and concentrated, every frame, every gesture is important to the film's narrative. The visuals are as assured and tight as the film's script, everything we see on screen is at once meaningful and utterly controlled.
Director: Juichi Kono
Starring: Chiyonosuke Azuma, Michiko Hoshi and Hibari Misora
1957 - JAPANESE with ENGLISH SUBTITLES - B&W - WIDESCREEN - 45 MINUTES