Monday, April 25, 2011

"Woman in the Dunes"

I watched a Japanese movie from the early 60s over the weekend called "Woman in the Dunes" that was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. It was chilling and the very definition of "strangeness" (as CS Lewis used the word). The film had a very otherworldly quality to it that was like watching a nightmare. I can't really say if it was good or bad, but everyone should see it just to see what strange really is.

It's about a man (a school teacher) who's an entomologist. During a lone expedition to the beach to collect sand beetles etc., he becomes a prisoner in a woman's hut that exists at the bottom of a deep sand pit. The sand itself has some otherworldly qualities to it. The woman has apparently been there all her life. We find at the end of the film that the man stays there at least seven years, and by the end of the movie, he becomes so acclimated to his surroundings that he doesn't seem to want to leave.

If there's a Hell, this movie is it.