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Director: Masaki Kobayashi
1965 / 183min / 35mm
Polygamist Rentarō Mikuni gets a visit from a skeleton; Tatsuya Nakadai’s meeting with a mysterious woman whilst walking through the snow takes a turn for the uncanny; a blind biwa player finds himself performing for supernatural audience; a man discovers a ghostly visage staring at him from his cup of tea. These stories, the four episodes of Kobayashi’s anthology horror classic, are connected only by their source of origin—a 1904 collection of Japanese folk tales set down by the peripatetic author Lafcadio Hearn—but the eerily luminous cinematography, exquisite production design, and Kobayashi’s formal flair give Kwaidan a chilly coherency.