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Director: Kaneto Shindo Cast: Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Sato

DVD (Wide Screen / Black & White)

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One of the most acclaimed horror films in cinema history, Kaneto Shindo's chilling, psychosexual fable arrives on DVD courtesy of The Criterion Collection. Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is spectacular. From establishing shots of an ocean of menacing grass to the horrific nighttime encounters with a hideous, steel-faced demon, the picture is sharp, crisp, and vibrant. Blacks are solid and dark as night. Sound is presented in bold Dolby Digital Mono with optional, easy-to-read English subtitles. For those who doubt the power of a mono sound mix, the whipping wind and ominous thunderstorms that comprise the sound scheme are undeniably effective even without a 5.1 remix. For those not averse to a little reading, Criterion has also seen fit to include a wealth of information in the form of extensive liner notes. In addition to discussing the active career of director Shindo, Film Comment writer Chuck Stephens' lovingly detailed essay places the film in historical context while also making mention of Hikaru Hayashi's unyieldingly primal, driving score. The director himself also chimes in with an intimate discussion of his take on the Buddhist legend of "A Mask With Flesh Scared a Wife," and an extended interview with Shindo delves even deeper into both his own career and the origins of the film. An abbreviated version of the actual legend is also included so those unfamiliar with the tale may familiarize themselves with the cautionary religious yarn. For those who assume such a rural location would make for a quick, gun-and-go shoot for the cast and crew, detailed behind-the-scenes notes give testament to the grueling hardships of filming Onibaba, with accompanying photographs and Super-8 footage offering a detailed look at the day-to-day living conditions of the crew.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/16/2004
UPC: 0037429185827
Original Release: 1964
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W, Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 1:43:00
Sales rank: 620

Special Features

New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions; New video interview with writer/director Kaneto Shindo; Rare Super-8 black-and-white and color footage provided by actor Kei Sato, shot on location during the filming of Onibaba; Original trailer; Stills gallery featuring production sketches and promotional art; New essay by Chuck Stephens, noted critic and scholar of Asian cinema; Filmmaker's statement from Kaneto Shindo; Rare English translation of the original Buddhist fable that inspired the film; New and improved English subtitle translation; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Hole [2:23]
2. A Day's Work [8:16]
3. Little Profit [3:08]
4. Back Alone [9:41]
5. Curiosity [6:37]
6. Good Business [5:08]
7. Lust [4:31]
8. Sneaking Away [3:09]
9. Suspicion [6:10]
10. "Try Me" [4:57]
11. Advice [2:27]
12. Many Hells [5:48]
13. A Samurai of Good Family [5:02]
14. For Her Son [4:51]
15. The Most Beautiful Face [5:06]
16. Oni [4:23]
17. Staying Home [3:00]
18. Through the Storm [3:35]
19. Twist of Fate [5:17]
20. A Human Being [1:44]

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Onibaba 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A true treat for anyone who loves the thoughtful consideration of the impact of war.