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A Review of Woman in the Dunes

Paper type: Review
Pages: 3 (549 words)
Categories: Cinematography, Film, Filmmaking
Downloads: 17
Views: 69

The cinematography in this film is highly distinctive. As it is in black and white, light and shadows play a very prominent role in the film. In the film the ever-present sand takes on a life of its own, as if it were a third major character. The sand is everywhere, pervasive, on sweaty skin and gritty hair, and the curves of the woman’s body as she tosses and turns in her sleep.

The sand is well presented as alive, and is menacing, an ever-present monster, or perhaps just a reckless creature who did not care at all, a perverse “affirmation” of the indifference of nature to the self-important human.

The director, Hiroshi Teshigahara, manipulated scale very well, and very effectively. In the film we see first see an extreme close up of a grain of sand, the very basic element of this entity that pervades all of the life in the village, and then we see more of the grains, and then a rippling ocean of sand.

At the start we see the protagonist walking on the sand, dwarfed by the sand dunes. The story never escapes the physical reality of the sand, and the close ups are a constant reminder of this.

Throughout the film there is a steadfast commitment to realism; the detail is palpable in every scene, and this enhances the sense of disjointed reality in the viewer. There are long, unmoving shots of the sand’s patterns, and many extreme close-ups of skin and sand, the sand saturating everything. The scale of objects is distorted, bringing a claustrophobic power of the sand, indicative of the intense suffocation in their existence. These overpowering close-ups occur throughout the movie. Ironically, the extreme close-ups also lend the film a distinct surreal feel.

There is created in this unusual approach a tension between the reality of the sand and the “unreality” of the situation. In their unlikely situation the two characters find that the “normal” concerns of daily life are no more; and all they can do is “survive to dig” and “dig to survive. ” The viewer will several times see close ups of skin and hair that resemble the bugs that the protagonist is so interested in. The manipulation of scale in the film causes disorientation in the viewer’s sense of scale, and in tis disorientation the viewer can find himself questioning the meaning and significance of human experience.

The movie can be taken as a crude study on how man and woman find space in their lives for each other, often with hesitating accommodation, although this theme is only secondary. Of course it is also an aesthetic, artistic experience, though there is still that “shock of recognition” in the film that enables the viewer to realize that there are strong parallels in the film to reality, particularly in the odd angles and close-ups that remind us of on “other” reality not always considered.

The disturbing, disorienting scale, and the odd angles at which the viewers see the action, is indicative of the abnormality and absurdity of the situation, in which social mores and all the normal concerns of society are irrelevant. However, in the end the protagonist finds that he has no desire to escape the sand, and he actually finds an unexpected freedom in it.

Cite this essay

A Review of Woman in the Dunes. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/review-woman-dunes-587-new-essay

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