Matchbox Cineclub #9: House (Scalarama 2015)

Matchbox Cineclub’s September screening, part of Scalarama 2015, will be Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House (1977). House is a Japanese film about a group of schoolgirls terrorised by a haunted house, which is also the very least of it. It was a struggling Japanese film industry’s answer to Jaws, made by an avant garde filmmaker who’d made his name at the pioneering edge of advertising. “I have the energy to make 10 or 20 Jaws if I’m asked,” said Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, and the film he did make was indeed 20 times harder to describe than Spielberg’s blockbuster. Here are some of the tries people have made:

“An episode of Scooby-Doo as directed by Mario Bava…an unforgettable mixture of bubblegum teen melodrama and grisly phantasmagoria…a rollercoaster ride without brakes…a psychedelic ghost tale…a stream-of-consciousness nightmare sprung from a troubled head resting on a hot-pink pillow…Douglas Sirk on acid…a gloriously candy-coloured fever dream that has the ever-fresh quality of true eccentricity…Ringu on a Pixy Stix-fueled hug-a-thon…Pee-wee’s Playhouse with a witch that eats schoolgirls, only amped up by a factor of 100…the perfect synthesis of the avant-garde and the commercial.”

So, writing about House is a little like dancing about architecture. It has to be seen to be believed, and even then it doesn’t make easy for you…

The screening takes place from 7pm on Thurday 17th September, in the gallery area of The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow. After the screening, there’ll be a soundrack-themed set from Chad Palestine (Blue Sunshine, Monorail). Admission is £3 via Eventbrite. This month’s screening is by arrangement with Eureka Entertainment.

Keep up-to-date via the event’s Facebook page here.

House illustration by Julie Ritchie

Poster by Julie Ritchie

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