Archive for May 16th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(Japan 1964 188m) DVD2 (162m only on DVD1)

Aka. Kaidan

The Snow Queen

Shigeru Wakatsuki  d  Masaki Kobayashi  w  Yoko Mizuki  stories  Lafcadio Hearn  ph  Yoshio Miyagima  ed  uncredited  m  Toru Takemitsu  art  Shigemasa Toda 

Rentaro Mikuni (husband), Michiyo Aratama (1st wife), Kanemon Nakamura (Kannai), Noboru Nakaya (Shikibu Heinai), Tatsuya Nakadai (Minokichi, the woodcutter), Takashi Shimura (1st priest), Haruko Sugimura (Madame), Ganjiro Nakamura (2nd priest), Misako Watanabe (2nd wife), Keiki Kishi (Yuki/Snow Maiden), Katsuo Nakamura (Hoichi), Tetsuro Tamba (warrior), Joichi Hayashi (Yoshitsune), Osamu Takizawa (author),

As I write this piece it is early December 2005, and we are but days away from the release of the first instalment of what makers hope will be a new movie franchise based on the books of C.S.Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia”.  I wish the enterprise well, and though I doubt it will come remotely within hailing distance of Peter Jackson’s epic Middle Earth trilogy, I look forward to Tilda Swinton’s perfect casting as The Snow Queen, one of the most fearsome female figures in children’s – and arguably all – literature.  Yet forgive me Tilda and Lewis’ devotees when I say that, when forced to choose between facing up to Swinton’s Queen and the Queen of the Snow in Kobayashi’s film, I’d take Swinton, seven days a week and thrice on Sunday.  In other words, if you see Kobayashi’s queen, prepare to meet thy maker. (more…)

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