Otoshiana (Pitfall) (1962)
Critic Reviews for Otoshiana (Pitfall)
Teshigahara's visual flair, evident in his sculptural use of wastelands and remarkable superimpositions, is matched by the singular assault of Takemitsu's unorthodox score.
Teshigahara employs simple but effective superimposition in order to visualise the realm of the afterlife.
Teshigahara's wide-swinging yet precise visual vocabulary jolts any hint of staginess into strange cinematic life
There is something uneasy underlying the entire film, and watching it is not unlike stepping into a dream in which not everything makes perfect sense, but every detail commands your absolute attention.
Audience Reviews for Otoshiana (Pitfall)
Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara ("Woman in the Dunes"), "Pitfall" is a strange, genre-bending drama mixing murder conspiracy, the supernatural and labor-union disputes. The film's twists and story arc are so unconventional that a review shouldn't reveal much of the plot. Let's stick with the opening events: Hisashi Igawa plays an unnamed, vagrant miner who receives a mysterious offer to work in a village further down the road. When he arrives (with a young son at his side), the area is unexpectedly deserted. Meanwhile, a man in a clean white suit is tailing him, ominously snapping photos from afar. Why? If this sounds like an old "Twilight Zone" episode to you, you aren't so far off. The black and white cinematography feels similar, and the film's year (1962) even overlaps with the TV series' lifespan. "Pitfall" is a dusty, sweaty film loaded with tension, menace and unanswered questions. It also benefits from picturesque, rundown locations and a distinctive score that often sounds like someone banging the insides of a piano. The second half doesn't quite deliver on the premise's potential, but the scenes have a gripping, existential atmosphere similar to "Woman in the Dunes" (but with a thinner sense of allegory).
Teshigahara's first fictional feature film is overflowing with metaphoric symbolism and imagery. Though this doesn't seem to flow as smoothly as Woman in the Dunes or The Face of Another, the same genius is abundantly apparent.
Maybe my expectations were to high, but I just didn't feel it..
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