Suna No Onna

The gems that Youtube throws up never fail to amaze me.

‘Suna No Onna” (or “The Woman in the Dunes” in English) is my number one favourite Japanese film (and an excellent book too) that tells the story of a weekend insect collector on a day trip from Tokyo who gets trapped in the sandscape of a mysterious Japanese town.
The sand itself almost becomes a character and the multilayered metaphors are ripe for interpretation/misinterpretation. The flawless directing is topped off with a stunning soundtrack and amazing performances all round.
I read that it made quite an international impact when it was first released in 1968 and if anyone hasn’t seen it and has a spare couple of hours it is well worth watching/reading.

*It’s not quite as erm…erotic as the front still implies, although there is a bit of that in it!

5 thoughts on “Suna No Onna

  1. Panther: I’d totally forgotten Woman…. In the early 70’s I taught film production at a California university, one class [that I co-taught with Augie Coppola] was ‘The Film and the Novel’, where each week the class would read a novel and then we’d show the film. Woman of the Dunes was one of the most popular we ever showed, it always generated lots of discussion.
    Thanks for posting it and bringing back those memories, I’ll definitely go and have another look, I’ve probably seen it a dozen times – great film, I have the novel by Kobo Abe in my hand, I’ll re-read that also.
    ps- excellent synopsis on your part, you should have been in my class, you’d have got an ‘A’.

    • Thanks GF – I thought you might know it.

      I read the book before I watched the film and was just so entranced by the whole thing – and then the film was even better than the book (just about)!

  2. another ps- I just opened the book and there’s a folded sheet of paper in it, all my notes as I first read it 40 odd years ago, there’s so many themes and ideas in it, now you’ve really got me interested, I’m going to check Netflix, they’ll probably have it.

    • wow! That’s very cool – I often scribble notes when reading too – it’s great re-reading them after a while, but 40 years is a long time!

      (if they don’t take it down, the whole thing is on Youtube!)

  3. Panther: You got me thinking about some other Japanese films from that era that we used, specifically Rashomon by Kurasawa and Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, all well worth seeing if you haven’t yet.

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