Based on the 1931 kabuki play by Shin Hasegawa set during the Tokugawa period, Mabuta no haha is a piercing, melancholy remake of Hiroshi Inagaki’s silent classic. Writer-director Tai Kato’s electrifying, moving version, a national allegory of Japanese self-sacrifice, adds color as well as sound to the original.      Banba no Chutaro, a young blade-ready yakuza, […]

FEAR IN THE NIGHT (Maxwell Shane, 1947)

Writer-director Maxwell Shane was so taken by William Irish’s, that is to say, Cornell Woolrich’s story “And So to Death” that he filmed it twice. The first, an underfunded B-picture, is entitled Fear in the Night. Unlike the nature of someone’s panic in nearly all other film adaptations of Woolrich’s work, this one taps deliriously […]