The Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen
USHIHARA Kiyohiko 牛原虚彦
怪猫謎の三味線
Kaibyō nazo no shamisen

Japan
1938
74
Black & white
English
subtitles

A peculiar subgenre of Japanese horror, derived primarily from the repertoire of kabuki theatre, revolved around ghost cats (bakeneko or kaibyo). In this pre-war classic, a jealous stage actress named Mitsue murders a cat belonging to a young woman who is in love with the same man as Mitsue. The spirit of the cat returns as a vengeful ghost. With a star performance by SUZUKI Sumiko, Japan’s first scream queen.

The screening of The Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen is preceded by Before J-Horror: The Origins of the Japanese Horror Film by Dr. Michael Crandol at 19:30 on Saturday, 25 September.

Een eigenaardig subgenre van Japanse horror, dat zijn oorsprong kent in het kabuki-theater, draait om spook-katten met bovennatuurlijke krachten (in het Japans bakeneko of kaibyo genaamd). In deze vooroorlogse klassieker vermoordt toneelactrice Mitsue de kat van haar rivaal in de liefde. De geest van de kat keert echter terug om wraak te nemen. Met een briljante hoofdrol van SUZUKI Sumiko, de eerste ‘scream queen’ uit de Japanse filmgeschiedenis.

Voorafgegaan door de lezing Before J-horror: The Origins of the Japanese Horror Film van Dr. Michael Crandol

USHIHARA Kiyohiko 牛原 虚彦 was a film director, most famously known for the gendaigeki (or, contemporary drama films) during the silent era of cinema, which lasted approximately until the 1940s. In the 1920s, USHIHARA studied Hollywood filmmaking in the United States under none other than Charlie Chaplin. He quit directing after the Second World War and went on to teach filmmaking at Nihon University and other institutions. He was also on the jury at the Moscow International Film Festival three times, starting with its very first edition in 1959.

1949 – The Rainbow Man 虹男
1938 – The Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen 怪猫謎の三味線
1930 – Why Do You Cry, Youngsters? 若者よなぜなくか
1930 – Advance 進軍
1928 – A King On Land 陸の王者
1928 – He and Tokyo 彼と東京
1925 – The Smiling Earth 大地は微笑む
1923 – Ah, Heartless 噫無情
1921 – The Mountains Grow Dark 山暮るる