Yabu no naka no kuroneko (Kuroneko)

Yabu no naka no kuroneko (Kuroneko) movie poster
MPAA rating: NR
Genre: Drama
This tale of two phantoms who prey on arrogant samurai has its campy moments, and the special effects sometimes look dated. But the story is memorable and the visuals elegant, thanks to widescreen black-and-white cinematography and a dancelike sense of movement.
Starring: Kichiemon Nakamura, Nobuko Otowa, Kiwako Taichi, Kei Sato, Taiji Tonoyama
Director: Kaneto Shindô
Running time: 1:39
'

Editorial Review

Japanese ghost story has 2nd life
By Mark Jenkins
Friday, March 18, 2011

Long before “The Ring,” ghost stories were a staple of Japanese cinema. One fine example is “Kuroneko’’ (“Black Cat’’), a 1968 film that’s being revived this week at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. This tale of two phantoms who prey on arrogant samurai has its campy moments, and the special effects sometimes look dated. But the story is memorable and the visuals elegant, thanks to widescreen black-and-white cinematography and a dancelike sense of movement.

The story opens with the rape and murder of two women by rampaging soldiers. In death, the victims become shape-shifting cat spirits who seek their victims in the spooky area around 16th-century Kyoto’s south gate, Rajomon. (Film buffs will know this site under an alternate pronunciation: Rashomon.) Finally, a war hero is sent to banish the ghosts. The showdown is complicated when the samurai realizes that the two demons are, respectively, his mother and his wife.

Contains violence, sexual situations and partial nudity. In Japanese with English subtitles.