Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
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.
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…
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.…
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
Another Japanese gem from one of my favorite directors, Hiroshi Teshigahara. This piece is from another world. The visual style of the film is hypnotizing and I just love the camera work here. The whole film is like a surrealistic nightmare and I just felt so empty at the end of the film. When I put the lights back on, I feel like I'm just waking up - I'm glad I'm awake but on the other hand this is interesting nightmare so I'm a little sad and I wished that it could go on... The sound world of the film is another fantastic element (I loved the sound design and this time I really felt like I was in this…
A crushing psychological horror piece. If you hate the feeling of sand in between your toes at the beach, have I got the movie for you.
This 1960's film by Hiroshi Teshigara is a take on the myth of Sisyphus and an allegory to the human condition.
Philosophy (and pessimism) aside , this is quite an interesting film. Teshigara manages to get great performances from both his lead actors, while at the same time he films the Sand as an ever-changing but infinite, thus constantly remaining the same, protagonist. The captivating filming techniques by the director are excellently paired by Toru Takemitsu's mesmerizing OST.
Watching "Woman in Dunes" is not an easy task, yet it does become rewarding if you let yourself get consumed by the visionary atmosphere of the film.
Very intriguing movie. Interesting character dynamics and setting. The story is a bit of a head scratcher but its quite a movie.
This is a very visceral film that perfectly compliments the cerebral novel of which it's based. It's intense and disturbing but completely enthralling non the less.
"Without the threat of punishment, there is no joy in flight"
-The opening line of Abe's novel
So, I was in a book store a couple weeks ago. The very first author on the shelf was Kobo Abe. I hadn't heard of him before, but recognised some of the titles. The Face of Another, The Woman in the Dunes. So I grabbed The Woman in the Dunes, as it had the earliest release date, and decided to do what we all say we're gonna do. Wait until we read the book before the movie. And let me tell you. This is the perfect adaptation.
It's probably not the greatest movie ever based on a book, but as someone who has…
Jonathan Glazer's Under the Sand ;-)
It's very interesting an Eiji Okada is great, but it didn't quite grip me as much as The Face of Another did which I was absolutely fascinated by.
Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara this film stars Eiji Okada and Kyoko Kishida. A school teacher travels to the beach to collect insects but ends up trapped by local villagers in a sand quarry with a woman.
The plot of this film is fairly uncomplicated but is an interesting exploration of the reasons for living. Our characters work to live or live to work in a story surely inspired by the tale of Sisyphus. I found the film to be a little slow moving for my taste but it is well made and certainly thought provoking.
I can't even begin to unpack what I just saw in this movie, but for now I'll just say... fuck sand.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
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