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Woman in the Dunes


Price: CDN$ 210.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô, Kôji Mitsui, Sen Yano
  • Directors: Hiroshi Teshigahara
  • Writers: Eiko Yoshida, Kôbô Abe
  • Producers: Kiichi Ichikawa, Tadashi Ôno
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Vid Canada
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003G4JA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,520 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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4.1 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Totally Anonymous on May 30 2004
Format: DVD
I read Kobo Abe's book WOMAN IN THE DUNES years before I saw this film. I loved the book and think it's Abe's masterpiece, but, good as it is, it certainly didn't prepare me for the shimmering and enigmatic beauty of the film.
WOMAN IN THE DUNES begins when a Japanese entomologist visits a remote and sandy area of Japan in search of rare specie of tiger beetle. Unfortunately, he misses the last bus back to town and has to sleep in the home of one of the villagers, something he thinks will be an interesting experience. I suppose he should have expected something strange was going on when he found out the house was at the bottom of a sandpit, but he doesn't seem to find this at all strange. What he does find strange, however, is that when he awakens during the night, the woman is not sleeping, but is, instead, outside shoveling sand away from the house. He goes back to sleep, thinking her bizarre behavior is really not his problem, but in the morning, he finds that the rope ladder he used to descent to the woman's house is gone and he is trapped.
The woman explains to her visitor that both her husband and daughter died in a sandstorm and now, her visitor is expected to remain and help her shovel the sand and send it up to the surface in buckets. In fact, it's necessary, she tells him, for she can't do it alone and, if they don't do it together, the house (as well as the neighboring house) will not only cave in, but the villagers above will have nothing to sell.
If the above doesn't seem to make any sense, then you've caught the point of the film very well. Life, it seems, is, more often than not, pointless. And, we are captives of this pointlessness.
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Format: DVD
Certainly, "Woman in the Dunes" is not for everybody. But I watched it two weeks ago, and am having a difficult time forgetting it. A Japanese "L'enfer c'est les autres," but so much more! A must for anyone who enjoys thinking about life.
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By A. Wolverton on Jan. 13 2003
Format: DVD
A man from Tokyo roams the Japanese desert to get away from the busy city and to capture various insects for study. He wanders a little too far with nowhere to stay as night approaches. The local villagers tell him that he can stay with a local woman. They lower a ladder down into a house in the midst of a sand pit. The woman is attractive, friendly and hospitable. When the man attempts to leave the next morning, he discovers that he has been tricked: there's no way out of the pit without the ladder, which has mysteriously vanished.
The obvious questions are why has this man been trapped and what is his role in the village? I won't go into the answers, but 'Woman in the Dunes' gives viewers a lot to think about and a lot to examine. Part allegory, part parable, part fable, 'Woman in the Dunes' is an absorbing story of loneliness, manipulation, and sexual energy.
'Woman in the Dunes,' if nothing else, is a glorious lesson in cinematography. The film's images are guaranteed to stay with you for a long, long time. In some ways, 'Woman in the Dunes' contains some of the most spectacular desert scenes ever filmed. They are not on the same scale of a film like 'Lawrence of Arabia,' but they are nonetheless spectacular. But the film is much, much more. This is a film you'll find yourself thinking about for a long time afterward.
2 hours, 3 minutes
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By fCh on June 10 2002
Format: DVD
Jeff Shannon in the editorial review really does justice to this movie in his 3 paragraphs.
the "Reviewer: A viewer from Miami, Florida" misses the point. you don't compare this movie to "reality" to validate its value--you don't do that with most art/holywood movies either.
the big strength of this movie is its artistic representation of what happens in real life: how one entraps onself in a given situation and then meaning is generated anew. this is a very human(istic) characteristic present throughout our history.
i am retaining 1/2 of a star for the not so smooth technical realization of this great movie. as for the eroticism lable slaped throughout you may well ignore it.
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By A Customer on March 22 2002
Format: DVD
Thirty years ago I saw this film for the first time, and for thirty years I've remembered the beautiful cinematography and the haunting images. I just went back and watched the DVD, afraid that it couldn't be as good as I remembered. It is.
An entomologist searches the desert for unknown beetles, hoping to achieve fame. Comfortable and careless, he assumes that he is in control of his world. Suddenly everything is reversed and he is trapped as completely as the beetles he arranges in display boxes. Wonderful to see a movie that talks about life in human and humane terms, instead of a plot-heavy paint-by-numbers formula from Hollywood. Watching at 20, I saw a parable about the precariousness of life and how easily a wrong step could doom a person to a life of drudgery. Now, at 50, the images of being trapped in the relentlessness of work seems less connected to the sand trap our hero finds himself in, and more a condition of life itself. By world standards those of us with DVDs and the leisure to watch them are wealthy indeed, but still the need to do the work that the world confronts us with remains. Work and eat. Don't work, don't eat. It's a simple reality that Teshigahara treats with compassion, dignity and beauty.
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