Post by washi on Apr 10, 2015 5:14:16 GMT
This small dune area near Tottori City in Tottori Ken is often called "Japan's Desert". Although I would guess that most of the people who call it that have never been in a real desert, it may be as close as you can come in rainy Japan, so many people come here, and some will buy themselves a ride on a camel.
The place is more interesting to me as the location for filming Woman in the Dunes, a movie I'd have to include in my Hundred Best list.
One only has to watch the movie for a few frames before one realizes the film maker has taken us to the world of parable and myth, yet the film continues to engage an audience, a remarkable achievement for any film nearly 50 years old. The actors who populate this parable never cease to be living, breathing human beings. The cinematography is spectacular! " There has never been sand photography like this (no, not even in "Lawrence of Arabia")," observed Roger Ebert in an essay well worth reading in its entirety.
The erotic tension in this film is intense, and if you are of a delicate turn of mind, you may wish to avoid this classic, but I would echo Justice Potter Stewart, who when writing of the alleged pornography in another film, said, "I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." More explicit material is routinely seen in broadcast television both here and home in the US, but with erotic content, like most other aspects of life, it's not so much what is shown, but how it is shown, that makes the point.
The Woman in the Dunes (砂の女 Suna no Onna, literally "Sand woman," also translated as The Woman of the Dunes) is based on a novel by Kōbō Abe (安部 公房 Abe Kōbō), who also wrote the screen play for the film. It was directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara 勅使河原 宏 Teshigahara Hiroshi), famous not only as a film director but as a sculptor and master of ikebana, or Japanese floral arrangement. The leading roles were played by Eiji Okada (岡田 英次 Okada Eiji) and Kyōko Kishida (岸田 今日子 Kishida Kyōko). The impressive film score was written by Tōru Takemitsu (武満 徹 Takemitsu Tōru), probably Japan's leading 20th century composer.
If you are impressed with this film, The Face of Another (他人の顔 Ta'nin no Kao), another collaboration between Teshigahara, Abe, Takemitsu, and cinematographer Hiroshi Segawa, with Kishida in a supporting role, is another film you may enjoy.
(Appropriate links are provided in the placemark.)
First posted January 2, 2011, Last revised November 9, 2013.