All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
Woman in the Dunes
Haunting. Erotic. Unforgettable.
Jumpei Niki, a Tokyo based entomologist and educator, is in a poor seaside village collecting specimens of sand insects. As it is late in the day and as he has missed the last bus back to the city, some of the local villagers suggest that he spend the night there, they offering to find him a place to stay.
Words haven't been coming for me lately. But I cannot stop thinking of this movie. It felt to me like I had traveled back in time and caught a late night transmission of some forgotten dystopian sf film on TV. I felt like I imagined my father feeling as he must have seeing 2001 for the first time. When he took Polaroids of himself and friends wrote on them, "Observe the stoner in his natural habitat. Note the glazed look on his face and complete disconnection from reality." Alone with an accumulating set of empty soda cans, I felt like something was happening to me. Everything in this film just sung straight to me. Through me.…
''Do you shovel to survive, or survive to shovel?''
Hiroshi Teshigahara's 1964 Woman in the Dunes; the centrepiece of a Triptych including 1962's Pitfall and 1966's The Face of Another is quite a work of genius. While it's visual language and unique setting is astonishing, it is allegorically and metaphorically equally as rich and demanding of analysis.
The plot involves Jumpei Niki, a Tokyo based entomologist and school teacher being entrapped by a group of villagers in a poor seaside town. He is cast into a pit of sand which houses a woman, who seems to exist to simply keep the sand from swallowing up her abode. When he discovers that he is in-fact imprisoned as a companion for the…
You know those times where you have to go to a party, family gathering or any other event that you really don't want to and there's no way to get out of it or escape? Woman in the Dunes is that situation, except this time you're the only one invited and instead of a nice, secure house you're stuck in a small hut surrounded by mountains of sand and limited supplies. It's brilliant.
The story follows Junpei, a school teacher who, from what I can make of it, is on a three day desert adventure to catch unique insects and escape from the irritations of his life. After some wonderful, sprawling shots of desert vistas, Junpei is soon found stuck…
A pristine wonder of cinema from the opening title sequence all the way to its closing seconds. With a score that could haunt men with the highest composure and chilling cinematography and imagery that unpacks itself for an indefinite stay in your head, Teshigahara's MASTERPIECE Woman in the Dunes is film as close to its artistic peak as it can get.
The film is truly horrific though both the most straightforward and subtle ways, and it has the purest sense of tonal style ever captured by someone other than Andrei Tarkovsky. The scenes of the steep sand cliffs collapsing with a blast as well as the scenes of the sand slowly and ominously falling down the dune are spectacular shots…
"No, no, dig up, stupid." -- Chief Clancy Wiggum
After making some documentaries and short films, Hiroshi Teshigara managed to achieve popularity, respect and a good reputation when he directed his first three feature films, which were the most famous and admired ones. After his masterpiece Otoshiana (1962) allowed his name to be considered among the greatest Japanese filmmakers, his second film Suna no Onna allowed him to gain world recognition, since it is widely considered as his best movie and his most representative and iconic masterwork. Dealing with existentialist thematic elements and having a hypnotic direction and a thrillingly atmospheric pace, Suna no Onna had the talent of functioning as a deep reflection not only for Eastern audiences, but for worldwide audiences as well, cinematically speaking, thanks mainly…
A blunt allegory with a capital B. Visually nice, but Teshigara's style doesn't do much to enlighten or explore the inner turmoil of the woman and the entomologist. For what's essentially a one location movie, it's almost a crime that we never get closer to either one of these people - it's mostly surface-level formalist technique. In retrospect, I found the setup considerably more interesting than the eventual plight, which at one point exhibits Hanekeian levels of misanthropy; for what it says about the human condition, I'd rather have followed the entomologist for the whole film searching for bugs, sans dialogue if need be, just the VO.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Pure excellence — a testament to the cultural landmark that was 20th century Japanese filmmaking. Hiroshi Teshigahara's second feature as a faithful adaptation to Kôbô Abe's book is a strikingly human parable, a subversion of erotic expectations and a stylistic masterpiece.
The film follows the journey of an entomologist, fed up with the conventional hustle-and-bustle of the modern world. Finding himself in a mystical desert in search of a specific sand insect, he is soon forced into servitude with a widow living in a sand dune. To further set up the plot would be a disservice, as soon a treasure trove of humanistic themes begin emerging everywhere. Much like the insects the man collects, the couple begin engaging in a…
Pretty darn good.
One of the more recent films I've stumbled upon that completely blew my mind. It's hard to describe its unique atmosphere. It's like a combination of Sunset Blvd, The Shining and the Twilight Zone. I can't get enough of its haunting atmosphere. The soundtrack is one of the greatest I've ever heard, it evokes pure dread and fear. Sand has never frightened me so much. What a masterpiece
Inspiring and tactical.........
Quiet an try. A perfect and experimental portray with reality....
Acting was impressive by the two lead roles.
FILMS #2 OF TIMOTHY'S CHALLENGE 2.0
Much like an episode of The Twilight Zone , Woman in the Dunes explores how situations that defy all logic shape a human being. The concept (which according to Teshigahara makes no sense in terms of physics) seems like that of science-fiction, but is crafted with such delicate realism to produce a film like no other. We accept that fantastical situations without any doubt. It's a tale of hope, morality, and madness, as the protagonist slowly abandons his humanity. The films' final words and shots are filmed with such desolate hopelessness, sending the viewer on a journey and a metamorphosis.
The imagery on display contributes to Woman in the Dunes 's evocative aura and…
Its strength is its simplicity. It's a man trapped in a hole in the desert with a woman and that's it, Charlie. That and a whole lot of sand are pretty much all that director Hiroshi Teshigahara works with here and he finds white hot suspense in the set-up and doesn't shy away from the sexual implications. The two leads are powerfully rendered, longing personalities. He's an academic from Tokyo out collecting rare insects only to get captured and collected himself by a village who need help shoveling the sands that blow into everyone's lives daily. She's a pretty and sad-eyed desert rat with a dead family and the worst house in movie history. It's a drafty shack at the…
This was described to me as an "erotic drama", which sort of made the experience of watching it my "Audition".
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…