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Kwaidan - Hoichi the Earless (1964) - Color - 64 min

Kwaidan is a spooky classic from Japan. The 1964 film offers four short horror stories. In the third story -Hoichi the Earless, follow the story of a blind Biwa player and his mystical journey into the spirit world. Hoichi has some wild visions as he entertains the tortured souls of a clan of Samurai warriors with his gift of musical skills. This story is so cool.... trust me, you need to see this. Be prepared for slower pacing... and be patient as you fall into Hoichi's mystical world. Also of note - if Takashi Shimura who plays the head priest looks familiar, well... he should. He starred in Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai as their leader and strategist.

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Kwaidan - Hoichi the Earless
Directed by - Masaki Kobayashi

(1964) - Color - 64 min
Part of what makes this film so special is the combination of wonderful cinematography - and a remarkable set design schema. The colors in this film are so hot - they might blow your monitor. Cannes Film Fesival winner in 1965 -Jury Special Prize, Nominated for an Oscar in 1966 for Best Foreign Language Film -Japan.

Part one
Intro, Color, title screens, credits, etc. Director Masaki Kobayashi provides you with a feast for your eyes and senses. The third story - is called Hoichi the Earless. Anything I say about it wouldn't do justice - just watch it.

Part two
The story gets even more bizarre and Hoichi provides a chilling rendition of a Samurai battle on his trusty Biwa.

Part three
The story all comes together in part three - check it out as Hoichi hits the top of the charts - placating Japan's nobility with his spooky Biwa mastery. Doug felt the ending was a tad flat... so he made an alternate ending. Make sure you check out part three before viewing it.

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Kwaidan - Hoichi the Earless
Directed by - Masaki Kobayashi

Starring - Katsuo Nakamura as Hoichi the Earless, Tetsuro Tamba as the Samurai warrior, Takashi Shimura as the head priest, Kunie Tanaka as Yasaku

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