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March 21, 2012

The exquisite short films of Kihachiro Kawamoto

Minimal, delicate and wonderfully detailed Kihachiro Kawamoto was a master puppeteer ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 47949-D 1968-1979 DVD release in 2008 99 minutes

01 |a Hanaori = The breaking of branches is forbidden (14 min., 1968,) -- Oni = The demon (8 min., 1972,) -- Farce anthropo-cynique = An anthropo-cynical farce (8 min., 1970,) -- Tabi (zenchōban) = The trip (12 min, 1973,) -- Shijin no shōgai = A poet's life (19 min., 1974,) -- Dōjōji = Dojoji Temple (19 min., 1976,) -- Kataku = House of flames (19 min., 1979,)

Breaking of branches is forbidden: A monk orders a young acolyte, who has a fondness for sake, to guard a cherry tree.

Demon: Two brothers, living with their aged mother, go out into the forest to hunt. In the forest, a demon's arm attempts to overpower one of them. They cut off the arm and bring it home, only to find a more horrible fate at home.

Farce anthropo-cynique: A dog race is interrupted by a ringmaster who mistreats the animals. The crowd becomes incensed and the ringmaster runs for his life.

Trip: A young girl sets off on a surreal metaphysical voyage to the learn the pain and joy of life.

Poet's life: A worker fired from a factory for demanding higher wages is plagued by ghastly nightmares. Based on a story by Kobo Abe.

Dojoji Temple: On their way to worship at a Buddhist shrine, two monks stop over at the home of a young woman. Their hostess develops an all-consuming passion for the younger of the two, but he rejects her. When she finds that he has left, she follows him in the form of a serpent.

House of flames: On his way to the capital, a Buddhist monk stops over in a hamlet to ask the villagers the way to an ancient monument known as the Seeker's Mound. Though they cannot help him, he comes upon it by chance and meets the ghost of a young woman who, five centuries before, was loved by two men, a poet and a warrior. When they shot a paradise duck in order to prove their worth, she was overcome by guilt and drowned herself. As a result her suitors concluded a suicide pact and ever since her soul has been in torment, enveloped in a house of flame.

Posted by mcmike at March 21, 2012 11:51 AM

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