Watched: September 30 2019
Director: Kaneto Shindô
Starring: Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Satô, Taiji Tonoyama
Runtime: 1h 43min
Sometime in the fourteenth century (we think) a mother-and-daughter-in-law team kill stray samurai and sell their stuff for food. The bodies? Dumped in a convenient hole and left to rot.
A neighbour returns with news of their son’s/husband’s death, and the two women dispair. For a few days. And then the new widow starts sneaking off in the night to get her rocks off with the neighbour.
Mother worries that her partner in crime will leave her to her own devices now that she has a new lover. But when she meets a strange samurai with an even stranger mask she hatches a devious plan.
Onibaba was strangely unsettling and it stayed with us for a long time after the credits rolled. From the animalistic lives of the two women in the beginning, to the demonic mask and the creepy ending, we were completely engaged.
We loved the contrasts of light and dark, the intense music, the non-sexualised nudity, the mask, the epic eyebrows, and the general disconcerting feel of the entire piece. This is one of those movies we would probably never have watched if it weren’t for the list, so thank you Edgar. We loved it!
What we learned: Don’t shame two single, consenting adults for enjoying a healthy sexual relationship.
Next time: Red Desert (1964)