Horror, Short Film

Emotion: That Dracula We Once Knew

Emotion 伝説の午後=いつか見たドラキュラ

Directed by: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi
1967 / 40 minutes / Unclassified 15+ (under 15s must be accompanied by an adult)


Sun-kissed youth, a love triangle and a vampire

Opening with a dedication to Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses, Emotion intersperses slow-motion cuts and colour filters with voiceovers featuring selective English translations by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie, offering a topsy-turvy slice of nostalgia-tinted youth. The dreamlike world of this experimental short film from the late Nobuhiko Ōbayashi depicts a young girl named Emi who moves from her seaside home to the city. There, she befriends a girl named Sari, and the two enjoy sun-kissed, youthful days together until both Emi and Sari fall in love with the same man, leading one to turn her jealous desire toward an enigmatic vampire played by Ōbayashi himself.

But for this surreal short film, the plot takes a back seat to a cross-genre hotchpotch of cinematic styles and techniques in mesmerising succession. From a vampire drinking blood out of a straw to John Wayne-style shootouts, Emotion showcases Ōbayashi’s avant-garde techniques and a whimsical style that would later capture the hearts of horror fans with his cult hit House.

Audience warning: Contains mild violence and sexual references

Wednesday 10th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Sunday 14th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Saturday 5th December

National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra

Saturday 9th January


QAGOMA, Brisbane

Wednesday 13th January

General admission only. Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane

Screens in: Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane

Director: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi

Cast: Sari Akasaka and Kyōko Hanyū

Genre: Horror, Short Film

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles

Format: 16mm colour

This film is part of the JFF Classics 2020 program, Provocation and Disruption: Radical Japanese Filmmaking from the 1960s to the 2000s.

From subversive Japanese New Wave cinema to surrealist psychedelic expressions and gritty cyberpunk, Provocation and Disruption features boundary-shattering masterpieces from avant-garde Japanese auteurs including Seijun Suzuki, Shinya Tsukamoto and Nobuhiko Ōbayashi. The program is all about the poetic, the abstract, the visceral and the abrasive in visionary Japanese cinema. This program broadly encapsulates films that were fiercely uncompromising and transcended convention, each leaving its unique mark on Japan’s film industry.