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.…
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…
''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…
Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes is, without a doubt, the best film I have watched all year. Originally based off Kōbō Abe’s novel of the same name, Woman in the Dunes tells the story of a man and a woman. The plot is simple. An entomologist, played to perfection by Eiji Okada, is locating insects on the sea of a poor village. He misses the last bus back to his city. He ends up spending the night with a local woman, played by Kyoko Kishida, at the recommendation of the villagers. Kishida was the weakest link of the film for me. She was nowhere near being bad, but her performance could not come close to Okada’s. When the man…
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
Sand. So much sand. Woman in the Dunes does an incredible job of capturing the beauty of the shifting dunes while never letting you forget that without constant effort, the sand will consume everything.
I can see why this has been hailed as a masterpiece, and there are plenty of things I loved about it. Firstly, the score - an experimental blend of dissonant strings and other unconventional noises that perfectly matches the uncomfortable atmosphere that the film conjures up. Visually, the almost post-apocalyptic feel that the bleak sands bring leads to some amazing images, and the use of light and darkness is amazing.
Unfortunately, I never quite felt like I was on the same wavelength, which resulted in quite…
Huh, wasn't expecting this to essentially be a tense, existential backwoods horror movie.
The ant lion digs a pit in the sand and buries himself at the bottom, waiting for hapless ants to fall in. A pseudo-horror film along the lines of "Onibaba" but not as potent. What struck me was the idea that who you are is determined by where you are, and how easily the impoverished or enslaved can willingly succumb to their situation and even find satisfaction in it. We may all be in the same situation. It's the kind of movie that makes you think about things like that. This story studies its theme very wisely. It is a fascinating and gorgeous film, although far too long at 2h20m considering it's mostly just two people in a room.
Dark film I thought. You can kind of see where it's going but still powerful to watch.
Part 1 of the "Schoolteachers in Sand Hell" Marathon
I'm going to be honest with myself and admit that this movie was rather long and tedious at some points, with me bored and disinterested. I'm also going to be frank and say that although this is an incredible movie, I could not handle watching it again.
Despite these initial reactions, I'm convinced this movie will find its way into my personal reservoir of films to recommend and watch again. The direction is spot-on and super creepy, with shots of flowing sand and struggling insects in the dunes accompanied by experimental music that is jarring and unnerving. Then we get to the characters, a man and a woman. Both have extremely…
Teshigahara weaves an intensely oppressive, dreamlike atmosphere for this brooding, haunting tale of a man lured by a desire to escape the formal structure and impersonality of city life (one in which relationships and identity are all governed by dictates and certificate, no emotions or personalities are real without formal approval) for the draw of the bucolic isolation of the natural world and the sacrifices the reality of this existence demands.
This idyllic retreat is hardly as care free and naturalist as the city dweller hopes, revealing a harsh world of unending, monotonous psychical labor which leaves little room for self-expression or appreciation of his superior mind and reduces an individual's identity and worth to his contribution to society. This…
If you liked ingmar bergman's persona then check this movie out. This movie was scary erotic and existential at the same time without making itself feel overwhelming.
Eji okada gives an amazing performance and the atmosphere of the movie was brilliant, you could feel the tension at all times.
On the whole this was actually pretty difficult (atleast for me) to understand completely of my first viewing, its filled with symbolism and allegory's making it extremely re-watchable.
The Woman in the Dunes is long, but its slow pace works beautifully at creating steadily trickling dread and despair. It plays like a superb extra-long episode of The Twilight Zone, mixing surreal, claustrophobic psychological horror with challenging philosophical conundrums.
All deliberately paced movies live or die on the strength of their lead actors, who must create strong but nuanced characters that can keep the audiences engaged for prolonged periods, and both Okada and Kishida are excellent, delivering riveting performances that make this unique story emotionally compelling as well as artistically gratifying and intellectually provocative.
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…