One morning, two brothers living in a hut with their mother set out for the mountains to set traps for deer. They move silently through the forest undergrowth until suddenly a demon’s arm reaches out from the treetops and grabs the younger brother. The older brother aims carefully, calms the shaking of his hands and lets an arrow fly, thus saving his brother’s life. The demon’s arm is left behind and somehow it looks familiar. After returning home a horrible truth is revealed…. Drawing on an early medieval Japanese legend, the film is reminiscent of the horror psychodrama Kwaidan. The Demon (1972) took awards at many animation festivals. —Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Born in 1925, from an early age Kihachiro Kawamoto was captivated by the art of doll and puppet making. After seeing the works of maestro Czech animator Jiri Trnka, he first became interested in stop motion puppet animation and during the 50s began working alongside Japan’s first stop motion animator, the legendary Tadahito Mochinaga. In 1958, he co-founded Shiba Productions to make commercial animation for television, but it was not until 1963, when he traveled to Prague to study puppet animation under Jiri Trnka for a year, that his puppets truly began to take on a life of their own. Trnka encouraged Kawamoto to draw on his own country’s rich cultural heritage in his work, and so Kawamoto returned from Czechoslovakia to make a series of highly individual, independently-produced artistic short works, beginning with Breaking of Branches is Forbidden (Hana-Ori) in 1968. Heavily influenced by the traditional aesthetics of Noh, Bunraku doll theatre and Kabuki, since the 70s his haunting… read more
Our perception of the elderly, the sick, the dying has always been one taken from a distance. It is only when one wonders into the realm of the infirm that we realize; we created this demon.
Kihachiro Kawamoto effectively uses an old fairy-tale to communicated issues about elderly care in modern society. It´s depressing that, in many countries, and here in Norway, we do not take properly care of our elderly. Many old people feel shameful for needing so much care, They have become a burden to their children; they become demons.
Delicioso cortometraje de KIhachiro Kawamoto, que, mediante los avatares entre una pareja de hermanos, cazadores de profesión, quienes andan tras las huellas del demonio del titulo y la madre de ambos,aparentemente fragil y enferma,narra una dramatica y conmovedora historia de terror. La tecnica de animación stop-motion es impecable y el resultado final de una extraordinaria belleza plastica. De lo mejor de Kawamoto.