International Poster Tour: ONIBABA KURONEKO (dir. Kaneto Shindo)

"I’m not a demon! I’m a human being!"

KANETO SHINDO. April 22, 1912 - May 29, 2012.

as you might be aware, the great (and only recently retired) filmmaker Kaneto Shindo died last week — he was 100 years-old. i’ve been overjoyed to see The Criterion Collection shine a spotlight on Shindo’s work, especially because his films — which were often tinged with cagey genre elements — eluded the sort of critical acclaim that western critics were so eager to afford the more austere work of Shindo’s contemporaries. but you better believe that Mizoguchi’s protegee earned the right to be mentioned in the same breath with his master. 

Children of Hiroshima was the first Japanese film to address the lingering horrors of the bombing that ended WWII, The Naked Island is a stark and harrowing ode to life on the brink, and his two Criterion films — Onibaba and Kuroneko — are masterfully delirious slices of psycho-horror, both of which reflect how cultural trauma begets personal terrors.Kuroneko is a rapturously dark delight, but Onibaba may eventually be considered one of the finest films of the 20th century. 

in a post last week, Adrian Curry (who runs the poster beat over at Mubi’s essential Notebook blog, and the equally essential Movie Poster of the Day Tumblr), contributed to the collective eulogy by assembling the finest promotional art that Shindo’s films ever inspired, and damn are they pretty. up top you’ll see my favorites of those pertinent to this site.