Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Woman in the Dunes


This weird, enigmatic and captivating (other than the adjectives mentioned on the above poster) Japanese film had almost slipped off my mental radar until I read this article about a retrospetive of films by Hiroshi Teshigahara. If you like your films thick with metaphors and laden with symbols, you will love it. It is about a young entomologist (played by the Japanese guy from Hiroshima Mon Amour) who gets trapped with a woman in a sand-pit in a desert village. The woman's job is to keep shovelling away the sand from the pit and stop it from filling up, which if not done, will precipitate the collapse of the entire village. The man gets angry, frustrated and wants to escape but eventually accepts his condition, first with stoic resignation and finally with some "purpose" and decides to stay in the pit even when he gets a chance to escape in the end. I am not sure if I understood everything exactly, but this film is something to be watched more than once, which I haven't done.

P.S. Keep your Kafka and Camus (specially The Myth of Sisyphus) handy if you really want to understand all the implications of the story. In any case if existentialism bores you, you can at least exult at the truly amazing B/W cinematography, which definitely ranks with the best, specially of the desert landscape. That alone is worth sitting through the entire film. Another brief article on the film here.

4 comments:

km said...

Intriguing!. I likes me pictures "thick with metaphors, laden with symbols", though "haunting and erotic" are also good reasons to watch a film.

Alok said...

Ohh yes. "Intriguing" will be another adjective. :)

Don Mckenzie said...

Well, I have not seen Woman in the Dunes, but would like to.

I have a question. Does anybody have the story or a review of Rokumeikan, directed by Kon Ichikawa?

I am searching for any information about this film.

Sorry this is off topic from this post.

Alok said...

Nope. Don't know anything about it !