Two foreign films reviewed
- Kwaidan (1964) Japanese & Wolfhound of the Grey Dog Clan (2007) Russian
Kwaidan - Kwaidan is actually four separate tales of the supernatural. I originally got this DVD just to get a laugh from the "state of the art" special effects from 1964, but was pleasantly surprised that the stories were actually really good! My favorite was Hoichi the Earless Man in which a blind musician is asked by the ghost of a samurai to play for his royal court at a graveyard, but Hoichi didn't know it was ghosts he was playing to until the monks at the monastery where he lived told him, then they put a plan in place to save him. Side note - I actually used this story to keep my grandson occupied in a public place the other day, saying "Jayden would you like to hear the story of Hoichi, the earless man from Japan?" and he really liked the story too! LOL :-)
My next favorite was "Lady in the Snow", which I liked mostly for the sets, I wondered if the hippie psychedelic era had made it's way to Japan when watching this tale. Great skies! (If you watch it you'll see what I mean)
Wolfhound - Wofhound is a fantasy about an enslaved boy who grows to be a great warrior, escapes, gets revenge for his murdered tribe and family and saves a "nation". What struck me most about Wolfhound was how realistic the settings were - they were ugly and rough and so were the people...most of them anyways. The Russian countryside was beautiful tho. I think the movie went on way too long and was standard fantasy fare, nothing that made it stand out to me anyways.
What I found interesting about these two movies were what other cultures definitions of "beauty" were, especially the Russian one. The princess at one point was dressed up like a Matryoshka nesting doll and I wondered why that was considered attractive. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
Donna Z in MA