Mon. May 27th, 2024

Japanese New Wave

The inventive horror of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House became a hit in 1970s Japanese pop culture, playing the craziest, most amazing, and most fun film. The film tells the story of a coming-of-age, about a group of charming teenage girls who go on vacation to whom a demon spirit disguised as an old maid curses them. Initially, Obayashi released the bottom half of a double bill with teen idol romance, featuring a tagline urging viewers to watch The Wizard of Oz themed on the French New Wave. The film presents a teen matinee in the middle of a night about the dismemberment of nobility.

It became one of the hottest seasons in late 20th century Japanese filmmaking, serving as a modern masterpiece of its ridiculousness, acid trip, and mindfuck. For Obayashi, his 11-year-old daughter gave him lots of story ideas. It is seven teenage girls in distress, a film that audiences must see until they see what they think. A mimic in the form of a piano, which many modern video games are inspired by the trope, especially Super Mario 64, devours a girl named Melody. The piano ate her fingers, bit by bit, the jagged body of a naked teenager. On the other hand, the ghost cat portrait changes the expressive power of the erotic.

She starts spitting up much blood in the small four-bedroom room. Besides Melody, Mac, a chubby girl teasing a watermelon from a watermelon seller in the shape of a watermelon, bites Fantasy’s ass when she tries to find Mac, who is a disembodied ghost. When the wholesome point lies not only in the warm nature of the seven teenage girls, but they are also deeply obsessed with their teacher, who at the end of the film becomes a banana. Even though it is just the beginning, Obayashi has much room to present comical moments but is in a dilemma about the audience’s reaction.

Montage and Radicalism

Before Toho Studios hired Obayashi, he first watched Spielberg’s Jaws, a summer blockbuster, locally produced to electrifying, partly fending off the ongoing onslaught of New Hollywood hits. With much fun, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg packed between the screams and topped the Tokyo box office. In Japanese filmmaking in the mid-1970s, a new wave arrived, introducing a homegrown pink cinema-style montage and stop-motion for adults.

The heyday of the Japanese New Wave in the 1960s has survived into the early 1970s, largely thanks to the funding of initiatives and screening funding that people know as the Art Theater Guild. Nagisa Oshima produces works such as The Man Who Left His Will on Film in a new wave. However, in 1976, the most pioneering new Japanese film was the one that no one was allowed to see in Japan.

Therefore, Oshima presents a film about political but sexual radicals entitled In the Realm of the Sense, playing imaginary clumps of female pubic hair. Even for modern audiences, the film is still taboo, both visually and thematically fantasy. After Oshima, Shohei Imamura was present in voicing voices from the past but did not make much of a comeback on a small screen. In essence, the new wave in Japan has become a hallmark of Japanese cinema at the time.

It is a simplicity for young filmmakers to tell in various sketches, both cheerful and tough.


Obayashi has become a filmmaker amid societal moments, even if his first feature will not be released until the following years. In the experimental Japanese film scene that emerged in the late 1950s, Obayashi began making the short films Super 8 in 1956. Soon, it became closely associated with many theaters, with whom he would found the experimental independence film collective in 1964. His short films almost always center on young women, emotionally stranded between the beating heart of first love and jumping rope.

With a painstaking but agile vision of women’s longing, teenagers forever distract the audience from the future that will come with a pseudo game of hiding and seek. Most peripherals confuse hide and seek, often funny but not fun. On the day, Obayashi especially remembers the impact of watching the first films of the French New Wave, whether Godard, Truffaut, Resnais, or Varda. In the 1960s, Obayashi had a sensibility towards himself and his colleagues, having experimented similarly. He mixes hand-drawn animation and collage with live action.

Often, he makes a unique snippet since the 1940s. It equally has his influence. Whatever his inspiration, his implementation of various approaches to filmmaking in the style of pop art style he designed specifically for the type of youth culture of the 1960s. In contrast to Obayashi, Truffaut and Godard’s profoundly romantic sensibilities aesthetically and politically are far more contemporary than films of the non-French new wave.

The Narrative

At a glance, the narrative of House always communicates with its visuals where the natural narrative space is always Obayashi breaks through the supernatural surface. In the first sequence, the supernatural breaks the charming teen drama when Mr. Togo falls because of a mysterious white cat. The cinematography quickly shifts to odd stop-motion sequences. However, only when the seven girls arrived at Aunt Oshare’s house. The supernatural comes to rearrange the narrative threads and the narrative space of promise until love slowly unfolds.

Obayashi visualizes ghosts in a surprising yet eccentric way, serving no other purpose than to evoke real irrationality in an alienated and strange way. Meanwhile, the narrative has a consistent structure. In addition to the logically plausible explanation of ghosts, the visualization of the irrational replaces such a structure. By substituting the structure and visualizing irrationality using unrealistic collage, animation, and matte effects, problematic narrative confronts audiences with the extraordinary in disturbingly expressive ways.

The way Obayashi visualizes irrationality reveals himself as the visual interpreter of the real impact of the atomic bomb. However, the composition is very creative, considered the most expressive yet figurative way the artist has ever framed in the history of cinema. While cinematography knows unnecessary decoration, shot transitions spoil the fluidity and visual flow that is nothing less than eccentric.


Stylish effects quickly turn into visualizations, triggering audiences in unsettling quirks and coming to identify narrative spaces. Regardless of which, such an invention of cinematography was the first time Obayashi used it in a lighthearted way. On the other hand, the acting is rough, but the performances are always captivating. It blends well with eccentric cinematographic compositions and a surreal narrative that descends into madness.

Communication and scouting use a narrative atmosphere with very flexible music themes. It is over the place, whether it is rock or pop. However, the music favors shallower interactions over softer music, imprinting a more personal moment on all the characters. Every second of intimacy always happens. By playing vocalizations and music carefully, furthermore, Obayashi was able to announce the horror to come.

Scene after scene transforms each repetition of a softer, intimate theme into an eerie endorsement of the malice that pervades the home setting. If Obayashi does not polish the acting and even the montage choices spoil the whole flow, without a doubt, House remains one of the most figurative and creative ghost narratives the artist has ever created. After all, it is already a great achievement.

The fact that director’s eccentric visual composition becomes one of the most disturbing yet pure confrontations. Incredibly, it transforms the narrative into nothing less than a classic and will always remain in the audience’s minds.


At the core, the narrative is obsolete in folklore to Japanese horror film culture. What makes Obayashi’s films so extraordinary is the almost limitless visual variety. The sound design fever scheme thereby changes the traditional elements of the story. It goes beyond the monster trope component to include the various ghost-headed lantern revivals that Japan is familiar with. In such a way, Japanese audiences in the 1970s, like audiences worldwide, found the film fresh and completely new.

The apparent joy Obayashi takes propelling its subject matter’s complex richness. Not since the work of Japanese artists tore through children’s imaginations and imaginations by creating epic rug collages, the collage depicts an army of girl warriors who are often naked in battle. However, it has so many insanely incredible chances to empower eroticism simultaneously. Together, the enchantment in one place is never with the speed of a demon. House was a hit in Japan, despite never achieving as much success as Jaws.

It secured a director’s place on the Japanese filmmaking horizon. In the modern era, many of the best-selling novel and manga adaptation artists center on schools full of superpowered students. They can change time, manipulate time, swap bodies with the opposite sex, or get many love triangles. On the other hand, Obayashi has yet to achieve or maintain the film’s overall length. The heights he reached in the film created a creative way to open up even more exciting genres, especially horror.


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