Kihachiro Kawamoto’s ‘The Demon’ – Review

A human life inhuman without a trace of light. The Demon (ONI) is a stop-motion animation film from master puppeteer Kihachiro Kawamoto and one of his best works.  Based on an ancient Japanese 12th century tale from the anthology Konjaku Monogatarishi; that says that when people grow old, they turn into demons who devour their own offspring. In Kawamoto’s Demon, the tale is indeed as tragic …

Kihachiro Kawamoto’s ‘The Trip’ – Review

The places we will go! The Trip (Tabi) (1973) – is a perfect title for this short. Kihachiro Kawamoto uses surreal imagery to illustrate a new meaning for traveling the world. Instead of using his signature Bunraku puppets, he uses a combination of black and white photography and beautiful watercolor backgrounds, complete with cut out figures or kiri-gami. The most beautiful …

Kihachiro Kawamoto ‘House of Flames’ – Review

Purest of intentions can lead to torment. House of Flames (1979) – Love can cause as much pain as it can joy; some have died in the name of love. Kihachiro Kawamoto uses Bunraku-style puppetry to tell the tragic tale of a maiden who refuses to choose between two potential suitors, attempting to shield their hearts from rejection with disastrous …

Kihachiro Kawamoto, Breaking Of Branches Is Forbidden – Review

See with your eyes, not with your hands. Kihachiro Kawamoto Breaking Of Branches Is Forbidden (Hanaori) (1968) is a cautionary tale of a monk’s assistant charged to guard his beautiful blossom tree. A tree so beautiful that the monk decided to post a sign that forbid breaking of the branches. He told his acolyte that he must sit at this tree, and …