Woman in the Dunes can be a metaphor for whatever you want it to be. I see it as a visual depiction of the hopelessness of life. My boyfriend thought it was a commentary on the battle of the sexes. The black and white cinematography is some of the best i’ve seen. You could almost feel the stickiness of the heat, and the seeping of the sand.
Rewatch of a 35mm print curated by Virginia Dwan. What can one say...it's justifiably a classic and everything you admired about it back in college still works today. Narratively and thematically, I think Abe's novella is better at conveying the characters' thoughts and emotions. But as far as straight-up emotional imagery is concerned, the film is a technical masterpiece, even if it belabors that imagery at times.
Are you shoveling sand to live, or living to shovel sand? Profound. Absolutely amazing. I haven't seen anything like this since... I don't think I've ever seen anything like this. All these close takes of skin covered in sand. Even trapped, we're still building traps. Would I escape?
[More like 4.5] Kobo Abe wrote the 砂の女 novel first, then wrote the screenplay for Teshigahara's movie: the result is a very close adaptation of the book, yet the narrative never reaches even a slight level of boreness. The construction of setting and characters is compelling, as the viewer feels lost and trapped as much as anyone that would be living such events. The story of having no identity in a signature movie.
(...) Mann und Frau, sie können nicht entkommen. Von ihnen hängt das Schicksal der Gemeinde ab und davon das der ganzen Welt. Dann aber findet er heraus, wie die Wasserpumpe in der Düne funktioniert. Immer noch sind sie gefangen, aber von nun an werden die Lebensbedingungen im Sand ein bisschen besser... (Dazu gibts unsere Film List der japanischen Klassiker auf cinegeek.de