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.
''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…
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.…
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
YOU! Yes you. The one reading this review. Sorry it's not really a review but it's just me telling you to watch this amazing piece of cinema. My friend and fellow LB user "Cigar" recommended me it. I promised him I would watch it this month but I was so apprehensive because of the running time. I left it until #96 of my June challenge but heres me telling you damn it was great. It was so damn captivating and the score.. haunting!!!. For the whole 147 minutes I wasn't bored for a second who woulda thought? Only 1k watches on LB? Cmon guys what are you doing! Watch the hell out of it!
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".
A haunting illustration of the futility of existence.
93/100 - Amazing.
This film's reputation preceded it by about forty years, as I'd first heard about this arthouse landmark in my mid-teens. For some reason the impression that formed of Woman in the Dunes was one of an artsy, difficult, opaque, and pretentious film. Despite having loved Pitfall, I still went into this one with a bit of the apprehension of swallowing an unpleasant medicine.
Well, artsy as it may be, it absolutely nailed me; visually, sonically, right between the eyes and ears. It certainly is plenty to chew on, and takes a fair amount of suspended disbelief, but it's physics and logic defying mechanics held me captive willingly for its 147 minutes.
Ok, so I loved The Face Of Another, I dug Pitfall and now Teshigahara impresses me again with Woman In The Dunes. This man is rather good, isn't he?
Words I often saw this film described as were: Erotic. Surreal. Nightmarish, to name a few. In a way I was expecting a slightly different film to what I actually got, yet there's no way I can be disappointed by this allegorical headtrip. Not as erotic or sensual as some described, and yes surreal, but not really in the traditional sense. Teshigahara drains all the light out of every shot and traps us within the dark unknown of the dune much like Junpei gets trapped. A few times I thought my…
"Do you shovel to survive, or survive to shovel?"
Sand is used as a metaphor for dynamism among nature and human beings...the more we resist as a human being the harder it becomes to delay the inevitable...One of the most sensually erotic movies in cinema without being crude or vulgar....unforgettable imagery.Existentialism thru stuck in man made structures.One individual's arrogance to live among the civilized and lead a normal life.
Not quite sure precisely where it falls on my spectrum of greatness, only that it belongs in that rarefied ballpark. The DVD I watched was less than great however, so still need to look for the Criterion version of this. Should note that when I watched this, from midnight - 2am, usually a time when almost anything will put me to sleep, no matter how good—this managed to keep me rapt for its entirety.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…