Woman in the Dunes
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One of the sixties' great international art-house sensations, Woman in the Dunes was for many the grand unveiling of the surreal, idiosyncratic worldview of Hiroshi Teshigahara. Eija Okada plays an amateur entomologist who has left Tokyo to study an unclassified species of beetle that resides in a remote, vast desert; when he misses his bus back to civilization, he is persuaded to spend the night in the home of a young widow (Kiyoko Kishida) who lives in a hut at the bottom of a sand dune. What results is one of cinema’s most bristling, unnerving, and palpably erotic battles of the sexes, as well as a nightmarish depiction of everyday Sisyphean struggle, for which Teshigahara received an Academy Award nomination for best director.
Three days later…still in awe
This is a stunning film. Brilliantly cast and acted in a setting so unique, so physically and psychologically remote, that it seems other-worldly. The black and white photography and subtitles both fortify that impression, and make it possible to submerge completely in a plot that would be unthinkable in any other setting. The film is not paced like current productions, and in fact the Director quite clearly and deliberately slowed it down to distill every drop of emotion from the main characters' performances. And it payed off Big. Three days later, I'm thinking that of all the movies I've seen over the past 50 years, this might be the one that I would most regret having missed.
Woman in the Dune is a timeless masterwork… Featuring compelling performances, an intriguing plot, and peerless technical craftsmanship (the sound design and score are some of the best), this is a film that feels like it could've been made today or fifty years ago.
A true "must see" for anyone who loves world cinema. Fully recommended.
This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The more I buy Criterion movies, the move I realize Criterion doesn't know what it's doing Their selections -- with very few exceptions -- are atrocious.