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Kwaidan (1964)

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Kwaidan came out of left-field for me. I’ve not studied film academically, and although I’m a fan of Japanese film, I’ve not seen anywhere near as much as some of my compatriots here. Nonetheless, I’ve heard about Kwaidan — usually mentioned on places like the Mobius forums in the textual equivalent of reverential tones. So, I stuck my hand up for it when a copy arrived for review, and I’m glad I did.

Kwaidan is a collection of four short … (read more)

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Big Mama (2001)

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Big Mama is an unashamed melodrama that is surprisingly gentle. There is no great tragedy, no milking of unpleasant situations for their emotive effect, and no villainous characters. That makes it rather more difficult to pluck on the heartstrings, but this film manages, using ordinary moments to show the strength of the family bonds. Okatsu, on seeing the intruder in her house, first abjures him to be quiet so as not to wake her sons, then serves him a bowl … (read more)

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