Celluloid Obscurities #03: Onibaba


In episode three of Celluloid Obscurities, we discuss the 1964 Japanese film, Onibaba. Written and directed by Kaneto Shindo and scored by Hikaru Hayashi, this visceral black and white drama set in feudal Japan follows the squalor lives of two women—one younger, one older—who subsist in a seemingly endless field of susuki grass. Their existence is meager as they survive on slaughtering stray samurai to barter their armor and weapons for paltry sacks of millet. After a typical trade with the merchant Ushi, the women return home and in the middle of their evening, a warrior by the name of Hachi returns from battle. He bears the morbid news that the younger woman’s husband perished in battle. And as this reality soaks in, the now trifecta begin to co-exist in the tall brush. What transpires is a tale of lust and sexual frustration wrapped in a desperate existence to just see the sun the next day.

Thank you so much for listening and thank you for your continued support.

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All of the droning soundscapes heard behind our words are made by Graham. You can download all of his music across his various projects for free over at his Bandcamp page.

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