Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes and nominated for two Oscars, this arthouse classic depicts the strange and unusual relationship that forms between an amateur entomologist and a woman who lives at the bottom of a sand dune.
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Life as a pit of sand, from which there is no rescue, only consolation prizes, managed expectations, and sex on the side. This film grew from a 4 to a 5 while I slept—it's some sort of beauty, a claustrophobic thriller and an absurd allegory for life in a pitiless, irrational society that Kafka would have been proud to call his own. Weird trivia note: the Academy nominated it for Best Director! It was another time.
Philosophical parable with platonic resonance that culminates with a cruel affirmation of egotistic individualism. Before Shyamalan made the insignificant "The Village", Teshigahara had already delved into the territory of the individual's limited perception of the world and the way that affects his will to survive, his desires and his morality. The desert as the wild, dry territory where animality comes to surface.
Woman in the dunes stands in between classic japanese cinema (ozu,mizo,kuro) and post modern japanese cinema. As such, critics cannot reference this film to any other. In the 60s, violence and sex were appearing on japanese screens. Dismissed as a cheap erotica movie, this film has been neglected by many. Camus would be proud of this.
I've recently discovered the great Hiroshi Teshigahara, his texture of water drops, skin and sand, hair and hope. The film is frightful because of the story, yet sublime because of this complicated "relationship" between man and nature. The character is not only a scared "tenant" of the dunes but his struggles and emotions are entirely swallowed by a holy "sandfall" - a metaphor. Marvel construction of motifs!
Sand, sex and dread. Loved it. It's images were absolutely stunning, some of the best black and white cinematography I've ever seen. This is a perfect example of sounds and visuals working together to create a unique atmosphere and feeling, one that ended up being quite unsettling. The film felt like I was diving into a kind of primordial consciousness. A haunting experience that is truly unforgettable.
A wonderfully suggestive, multilayered allegory about life and relationships, with a narrative flow resembling both the work of Alain Resnais and the classic japanese dramas showcasing the visual sensitivity of Teshigahara. I've never seen a movie so assured of its thoughtfulness withuout falling into the depths of existentialist gloom or other type of heavy handed pacing, using instead suspense of the highest order.