This film is pure existentialism.
"Are you shoveling sand to live or living to shovel sand?"
And surprisingly erotic for its time.
Watching Woman in the Dunes reminds me of the lyrics from Coldplay's Clocks:
"Closing walls and ticking clocks"
Anyone a fan of this film?
Yes. Roger Ebert had this on his Great Movies list and it definitely deserves a place in my view.
Like a disturbing dream you can't wake up from.
Two other intense Japanese dramas I'd recommend are Departures (2008) and Drive My Car (2021), if you haven't seen already.
It’s one of the great films of its era, and definitely the most widely seen of the Japanese New Wave era (along perhaps with something like Tokyo Drifter or Funeral Parade of Roses). However, there’s a whole host of other mesmerising Japanese films from the same period I’d highly recommend checking out - anything by Shohei Imamura (Profound Desire of the Gods is a good starting point), or the likes of Eros + Massacre or The Naked Island. They’re often quite radical in their form, and deal with sex, politics and violence in still challenging ways.
It’s a vast rabbit hole to be explored, only really limited by the lack of availability of many of the films (although both Arrow and Masters of Cinema have done sterling work with high quality releases of at least some of the major and lesser known films of the era).
Thank you, Johnny. I will check those out. It is the kind of film that haunts you after seeing it. The one line that really sticks with me:
"But you see if it weren't for the sand, people wouldn't bother about me. Not even you."
Another film from this director was Face of Another. Have you seen that one?