Thursday, June 23, 2011

From the Fringe: Hausu

A new feature. One that I promised would be up back in January. Better late than never. This basically highlights exploitation, cult & forgotten gems in a directors work. Digging down in the deepest cul de sacs of cinema. Hopefully this will point you in the direction of these 'misfit toys' and leave you wanting more. While the blog is not solely dedicated to exploitation & cult, this feature was created as an avenue to discuss these types of films. First up, we have a film called Hausu by Nobuhiko Obayashi. Criterion recently put out a DVD of this and as always, they don't mess around. Superlatives abound when trying to describe this delicously demnted piece of pop art. Director Obayashi made this in the same year as Eraserhead and it's got the complete opposite tone and vibe of that movie. As opposed a nightmare of industrial decay. One of the things both do well is stream of consciousness visuals. The difference in this one being bright, poppy colors with a different paintbrush.

The plot revolves around seven girls visiting an aunt in a house that comes alive. The narrative, if that ever need be important in a film of this kind, takes a back seat while maniac Obayashi drives us head first into a house of pianos that eat girls, dancing skeletons and floating severed heads. All through a style consisting of mattes, animations, and collage effects. It's one of those movies that will ring you out to dry so to speak. It's a film to be experienced. One with a lucid energy that uses the visual medium to its fullest potential.

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