Woman in the Dunes
Hiroshi Teshigahara / Japan / 1964
Wednesday, March 9th, 8PM @ The Cannery, 168 Hunter St. W.
At last week’s screening of Antonioni’s Red Desert, our audience witnessed a strangely ambivalent depiction of the modern industrial desert – at once beautiful and poisonous. At this week’s screening a different kind of desert will be the setting, one much more allegorical than Antonioni’s. The film, titled Woman in the Dunes, directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara and written by Kobo Abe, follows an amateur entomologist who goes out into the desert to catalogue insects. When offered a place to stay the night by some local villagers, he accepts, allowing himself to be lowered into a pit, where a woman lives, alone. Soon finding that he has been trapped and reduced to a life of constant labour in order to keep the encroaching sand at bay, he must decide what to make of his existence. Teshigahara’s style combines New Wave sensibilities (the film was made in Japan in 1964) with a natural aestheticism, playing out particularly in the depiction of the sand, which becomes a main character itself.