The Mad Fox (1962)

In the medieval Japan that only appears in fantasy, a court astrologer foretells a great disturbance that could cause the end of the kingdom of Emperor Suzaku. The astrologer’s wife wants one of his two proteges, Doman, to take over for her husband, while Yasunori — the more idealistic of his disciples — just wants the love of the seer adopted daughter Sakaki.

This leads to Yasunori the astrologer’s wife plotting his murder, which ends up with the old man and Sakaki dead. Yasunori is blamed when he kills the woman in a rage, takes the old man’s Chinese book of secrets and runs on a journey with no destination into the woods.

Soon, he’s gone mad, but will soon meet the daughter’s long lost sister Kuzunoha, fall in love and then learn that she’s a fox in human form.

This movie has never been available outside of Japan. Get ready — it looks unlike any movie I’ve ever seen from that country.

This is a movie that combines stage play, animation, butoh dance, kabuki and expressionist filmmaking to create something truly wondrous.

Known as Koiya Koi Nasuna Koi (Love, Thy Name Be Sorrow), this was directed by Tomu Uchida, who once left Japan to be part of the Chinese Communist cause. He took the name Tomu as it means “to spit out dreams.”

This is now available from Arrow Video, who has released it on blu ray with a new Toei restoration.

DISCLAIMER: This movie was sent to us by Arrow Video.

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