Horror usually makes us think of screams and blood, but Kaidan revolves around refined ghost stories from a forgotten Japan. The films are based on stories by the great writers in the genre. Four mysterious stories. Four outstanding filmmakers.
Japanese national broadcaster NHK asked four Japanese directors to adapt the short stories from the horror classic Kaidan (1964) for TV. Kore-eda Hirokazu (Air Doll), Tsukamoto Shinya (Tetsuo), J-horror pioneer Ochiai Masayuki (Hypnosis) and Lee Sang-Il (Hula Girls) each direct one of the four stories.
The result is not the horror of Ringu or the splatter and gore of The Machine Girl. Here, horror takes the form of jealousy, lust, shame, wrath and regret; emotions with which the characters above all torment themselves. In The Whistler, a woman is jealous of her younger sister because of love letters she receives. The Nose is the story of a medieval monk who accidentally causes a boy’s death. In The Arm, an aging man becomes obsessed by a beautiful young woman, asking if he can borrow one of her arms for a night. In The Days After, a man and a woman are visited by their dead son. But is it really him? –Rotterdam
Constant comparisons to such distinctive celluloid experimentalists as David Cronenberg and David Lynch may give the uninitiated an idea of what to expect aesthetically and thematically from the works of renegade Japanese filmmaker/actor Shinya Tsukamoto, though as complimentary as they may be, the comparisons ultimately don’t do justice to the remarkably original and frantic essence of his hauntingly jarring cinematic nightmares. From the cringe-inducing, hyper-kinetic body horror of Tetsuo: The Iron Man to the creeping deliberation of Gemini, Tsukamoto’s intriguing body of work has isolated critics and audiences while building a strong fan base who share his technophobe paranoia and cyber-punk sensibility.
Born in Shibuya, Tokyo, in 1960, Tsukamoto found inspiration early in his childhood from the television series Ultra-Q. Making his directorial debut via Super-8 film around the age of 14, the future director later found creative outlet in painting and theater. Briefly putting… read more
Born in Tokyo in 1962. Originally intended to be a novelist, but after graduating from Waseda University in 1987 went on to become an assistant director at TV Man Union. Sneaked off set to film Lessons from a Calf (1991). His first feature, Maboroshi no hikari (1995), based on a Teru Miyamoto novel and drawn from his own experiences whilst filming August Without Him (1994), won jury prizes at Venice and Chicago. The main themes of his oeuvre include memory and loss, death and loss, and the intersection of documentary and fictional narratives. —IMDb