Tomorrow, on the second day of their Halloween-timed Freak Cats series, BAM screens Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 curio House. A report:
Like wearing a costume directly on your brain, this New Wave-playful Japanese nutbar deserves a slot on your Halloween itinerary. Seven BFF teens named Gorgeous, Fantasy, Kung Fu, Mac, etc. visit a spooky auntie’s country house, overseen/possessed by a white Persian cat. A Beetlejuicean assortment of things come alive—chandeliers, logs, mattresses, piano—and fly around, change colors, or eat people. Best of all is the pre-Evil Dead, proto-80s-MTV filmmaking—a scissoring together of hyperventilating gloss, collaged camera effects, stop-motion, pink painted sunsets, fake wind, and oddly cut shorts. Not aiming for coherence, this occasionally scary, always on-the-edge effort was the full-length debut of a director who shot experimental reels, commercials, and eventually quite popular features.