Suna no Onna (Woman in the Dunes) Reviews

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March 8, 2015
Capillary action. Good soundtrack.
August 27, 2010
Much like the creepiness of Blind Mountain (2007), a man goes to a rural village in search for rare bugs, and finds himself trapped in a sand valley in a house and a lonely woman. What ensues is a battle of wits, as the villagers do not want him to leave, but he has to try and escape. Featuring an invasive musical score and plenty of underscored eroticism, it feels like a fever dream instead of a drama. The slow decline of the hero's willingness to leave will haunt viewers, showing the futility of one's surroundings when one gets complacent.
December 12, 2014
This is a slow film but it is very interesting visually. The story plays out with ease and has a very surreal quality to it all.
October 13, 2014
So good a meditation on confinement beautifully shot has aged very well
October 26, 2013
A brilliant movie. The cinematography is unparalled, with portrait-like, haunting images of falling sand and its movement. The acting is spectacular - both characters are great, and the story is outstanding and very thought-provoking, philisophical, and disturbing. It's a stark reflection on human nature and how we adapt and conform to our circumstances, and how what originally seems like hell can end up feeling like home - which is pretty scary, and puts the mind into knots, but it's something to think about. Both the best and worse aspects of human nature are showcased, and the huge complexity of life, the mind, and ethics. Overall, a spectacular movie - one of cinema's true masterpieces.
Super Reviewer
May 29, 2014
This is not your typical Japanese film. It is strange but very intriguing. I get the sense that there is a lot going on here that I am not perceiving but it doesn't scare me away from the film.
September 2, 2011
Surprisingly erotic movie of a biologist getting trapped in a house of a widow at a bottom of a sandpit in the desert. Kept thinking about all that sand going to places you wouldn't want it to go..
December 25, 2013
Haunting and mesmerizing
½ December 8, 2013
Visually this movie is absolutely stunning, I never thought of sand having so many textures, let alone getting them captured on film, in lush B&W. The story is highly allegorical and is open to interpretation, but in its core, it's an existential drama and a Japanese social commentary that perhaps is a bit elusive to Westerners.
November 3, 2013
Incredibly beautiful. And what an amazing metaphor! Top-notch.
October 9, 2013
Cinema rarely uses black and white as brilliantly as this. Plus, those strings. And that lust. Gaaaah
August 21, 2013
A haunting existentialist parable.
July 25, 2013
An allegory that combines both great aesthetic visuals and haunting unwontedness.
½ June 7, 2013
I simply did not find this captivating at all.
Super Reviewer
½ June 4, 2013
Woman in the Dunes is the most acclaimed of Teshigaharas films, and my personal favorite of the three. This reminds of a less horror version of Misery, with more of a raw creative motive. I find isolation to be one of the scariest concepts, and this touched some thought into me, of how far I'd go. It's a film desire, whether it's a desire to escape your current "prison", or desire of a radio. This film is also concentrated on deception. It seems character had a trick up their sleeves. And while it maybe predictable, it's still directed well enough, that climax and plot didn't matter. This film also had some detailed close up cinematography, which I enjoyed. The director seems (based on this and Face of Another) an obsession of the body, and this is shown in not only the sex scenes, but where the camera is focused.
May 10, 2013
While often being unnerving (thanks to the music), this film is certainly visually interesting. There's a simplicity to the lessons it tries to teach through the unending sand: The futility of fighting nature, coming to terms with a forced lifestyle change, and the power of a small amount of hope. It's certainly a movie that's as deep as the sandy dunes that occupy its setting . . .
½ February 22, 2013
This did for sand what Child's Play did for dolls.
One of the creepiest films I've seen. Like a hybrid between Hitchcock, Stephen King, & the Twilight Zone. What a nightmare scenario. A totally unnecessary survival story. The bugs just make it even grosser.
The torturers are among the sickest, most evil, & psychotic villains ever. Their level of depravity & inhumanity knows no depth.
The situation he finds himself in is so sickeningly annoying, I'm not sure how to enjoy the experience. On the one hand, it accomplishes what it intends, as everything works to make this film so frightening. On the other, I want to be anywhere in this world, but here.
The soundtrack is innovative & eerie. Creative direction. Great use of visuals, even if it does end up overdone, eventually. I know the critics were impressed with the faux-eros, but it just struck me as awkward, & made me queasy.
Really disappointing ending. Rather than being a film about liberty, like every indication up until then pointed toward, it became about Stockholm Syndrome.
Excellent performances by the two leads. They inhabit the roles.
Maybe the most comprehensive presentation on the hazards of sand. The images it conveys are lasting.
February 17, 2013
Haunting, disturbing, unforgettable. This film transcends two-dimensional limitations and makes you feel the heat, smell the sweat, taste the dirt.
February 4, 2013
I couldn't sleep without finishing the movie ..less talk with a lot of drama
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