Location: The Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles
Dates: November 19 through 25
Link out: Click here
Description: Boo-yaa! The Nuart Theatre is presenting a one-week run of one of the most hard-to-find Japanese horror classics, KURONEKO (“The Black Cat,” 1968), writer-director Kaneto Shindo’s follow-up to his wonderfully creepy ONIBABA (“Demon Woman,” 1964). I know KURONEKO by reputation only, but that reputation is a strong one; by all accounts this is one of the great incarnations of a popular trope in Japanese horror: the ghost cat (i.e., female spirits of murder victims who return in feline form to extract revenge). This film has never been available on Region 1 DVD, so this will be the first opportunity that many Los Angeles residents have had to see the film. The fact that it is being screened in a new 35mm print suggests that somebody somewhere is prepping a stateside home video release, but why wait? See it on the big screen!
In war-torn medieval Japan, a demon haunts the Rajomon Gate, ripping out the throats of samurai in the grove beyond. The governor sends a fearless war hero (Kichiemon Nakamura) to confront the spirit, but what the man finds are two beautiful women (Nobuko Otowa, Kiwako Taichi) who look just like his lost mother and wife. Both a chilling ghost story and a meditation on the nature of war and social hypocrisy, Kuroneko (Black Cat) is the second horror triumph from writer/director Kaneto Shindô (Onibaba, The Island), who mixes stunning visuals, an evocative score, and influences from Noh theater to create an atmospheric, haunting and emotionally devastating masterpiece. Released to great acclaim in 1968, Kuroneko is loosely based on the Japanese folktale The Cat’s Return and will be presented with a new 35mm print!
Showtimes at (12:30 2:50 5:10) 7:30 9:50. Showtimes in parenthesis are discount priced. No 12:30 show on Monday or Tuesday.