Kihachiro Kawamoto - Retrospective of Selected Short Films
40th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

The head monk in a temple orders a young acolyte who has a fondness for sake (rice wine) to guard a beautiful cherry blossom tree while he goes out. A samurai warrior and his servant come to the temple and want to have a feast under the branches of the cherry tree. At first, the acolyte refuses, but when he smells the sake… 

16mm/14min/1968/English Subtitles

A dog race is interrupted by a ringmaster, who attaches fish to the dog’s collars and makes them run in circles. The crowd is incensed, but the ringmaster insists that the audience is no better off than the dogs. In the end the ringmaster is assassinated and the race continues, but a single red rose sprouts from the ringmaster’s blood; a symbol of truth in a crazy world?

35mm/8min/1970/French Subtitles

Two brothers are both hunters and live with their elderly mother.One day, the brothers go to the mountains to set traps for deer. Suddenly, from the top of a tree, a demon’s arm reaches out and grabs the younger brother.The older brother shoots and arrow, severing the demon's arm, which they plan to take home. When they look at the arm carefully in the light, it somehow resembles their mother’s arm… 

35mm/8min/1970/English・French Subtitles

A young girl sets off an a physical journey, which is also an inner voyage through which she will learn all the pain and joy of life. The journey will change her completely but when she returns she will be the only one who knows how she has changed.
(The poem in the film is by Su Tong-Po, a famous Chinese poet)  

35mm/12min (4min - Short Version)/1973/ Slient

A worker is fired from a factory for demanding a wage increase. His mother, worn thin by poverty, is caught in her own spinning wheel and transformed into yarn. A neighbor takes the yarn and knits it into a jacket, which nobody will buy. Then a strange storm buries the town in snow, freezing rich and poor alike. A pregnant rat breaks into a storeroom and bleeds on the jacket, which flies out of the window and clothes the woman’s son. The worker now realizes that he is a poet, with a mission to write about the dreams and spirit and hope of the workers and the town.

35mm/19min/1974/English Subtitles

On a sunny spring day, the road to the shrines of Kumano are crowded with pilgrims traveling to the shrines. Among the pilgrims are an elderly monk and his young acolyte. As the evening comes, they stop to ask for a room at a lodge along the way. The mistress of the house is a young widow. She immediately falls in love with the acolyte, and slips into his room that night. The young monk feels attracted to her, finding it difficult to resist the temptation, he lies his way out of the situation by pretending that he will return in three days, on his way back from Kumano. When the woman realizes that the monk has tricked her, she sets out to find him. Urged by his master, the young monk flees, escaping by boat over the rough waters of the Hidaka River. The woman chases after him in a frenzy, and the depth of her passion transforms her into a huge white serpent, a symbol of jealousy and passion. The monk seeks refuge in the monastery at Dojoji Temple, where the wise old abbot hides him inside a huge bronze bell, and bars the doors as they await the arrival of the serpent…      

35mm/19min/1976/English Subtitles         

Long ago, a young woman named Unai-Otome lived in the village of Ikuta.She had two suitors, both of whom loved her very much. Unai-Otome was torn apart, not knowing which of the young men to choose. In anguish, she chose death. But although her intentions were pure, even death did not bring the respite she longed for…
A Japanese “Drama of the Absurd,” based on the Noh play" Motomezuka − the Seeker’s Mound.” 

35mm/19min/1979/English Subtitles 

On her fifteenth birthday the princess finds a diary written by her mother when she was young. The diary tells of her mother, the Queen's secret, early love. The Princess goes into the forest to meet her mother's former lover. When she looks into his eyes she realizes why her mother had fallen in love . . . .  

35mm/22min/1990/English Subtitles

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