Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan (1964) is a great, great movie. Ever since I first saw it, its incredible, stylized snow scenes have reminded me of the shot-on-a-soundstage winter scene from Ford’s The Searchers (1956).
In a picture filled with so many spectacular outdoor shots — in VistaVision and Technicolor, no less — this segment of The Searchers seems rather out of place. But with its layers of trees and fake snow, to me, it’s one of the most striking things in the film.
The Kwaidan image above doesn’t support my point as well as it could — it was all I could find. Those who’ve seen both films will hopefully know what I mean. Of course, the connection may be more in my head than in Kobayashi’s. But you never know.