Man In The Dunes: Hiroshi Teshigahara

Repertory Series
March 31 - April 6, 2006

Hiroshi TeshigaharaThe son of Japan's foremost Ikebana (the art of flower-arranging) expert, Hiroshi Teshigahara lived a dozen artistic lives: sculptor, painter, opera director, interior designer, writer, and more. Yet it was his career as a filmmaker that brought him international recognition. His diverse artistic background and collaboration with Japan's brightest artists (writer Kobo Abe and composer Toru Takemitsu) resulted in thought-provoking films that destroyed the boundaries of what could be seen on Japanese screens. - Notes from BAMcinématek

Hiroshi Teshigahara Links
Biography at Senses of Cinema
Teshigahara entry on

Dates & Showtimes

Friday, March 31
WOMAN IN THE DUNES at 5:00, 8:00

Saturday, April 1 & Sunday, April 2
WOMAN IN THE DUNES at 2:00, 5:00, 8:00

Monday, April 3
PITFALL at 8:00, 10:00

Tuesday, April 4
PITFALL at 8:00, 10:00

Wednesday, April 5
THE FACE OF ANOTHER at 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Thursday, April 6
THE FACE OF ANOTHER at 5:00, 9:30

Film Descriptions

New 35mm Print! Newly Translated English Subtitles!
(1964) dir Hiroshi Teshigahara w/Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida [147 min]

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes and nominated for two Academy Awards, Teshigahara's masterpiece is a disquieting examination of power and sexuality fueled by stunning visual imagery. An entomologist stays overnight in a small town, only to awaken the next morning to find himself trapped by encroaching sand dunes. Held prisoner, he must shovel the sands back to resist being buried alive as he simultaneously succumbs to the seduction of his female captor. Shot in stark black and white giving the rippling sands an erotic undercurrent, the cinematography juxtaposes the violence of the dunes with searing close-ups of the lead actors. An essential big-screen experience, shown here in its original, extended version! - Notes from the BAMcinématek

"The movie is in black and white, and I have never seen any film use those two colours in such bold, retina-popping compositions. It's like a dream - the kind from which you awake bolt upright in a cold sweat." - The Guardian (UK)

Related Links
Review at Bright Lights Film Journal
Onion AV Club Review
BBC Review
Review at Strictly Film School

New 35mm Print! Newly Translated English Subtitles!
PITFALL (Otoshiana)
(1962) dir Hiroshi Teshigahara w/Kunie Tanaka [97 min]

A mysterious man in a white suit and sunglasses casually commits a series of murders in a small mining community and in the process reveals dark secrets about the town. Teshigahara called his first feature a ‘documentary-fantasy,' surely referring to the offhand way it captures the ghostly qualities of the tale (as murdered characters show up later to comment on the action in the manner of a Greek chorus). - Notes from the BAMcinématek

Related Links
Review at Strictly Film School

New 35mm Print! Newly Translated English Subtitles!
THE FACE OF ANOTHER (Tanin no kao)
(1966) dir Hiroshi Teshigahara w/Tatsuya Nakadai [124 min]

Kurosawa regular Nakadai (the reckless gunfighter in Yojimbo and the lead in Ran) plays a man who becomes horribly disfigured in an accident, leaving his face covered in bandages. He receives an artificial face to wear that is different from his own, which Teshigahara exploits to explore the loss of identity in this chilling tale. The film works both as a psychological thriller and a sci-fi Frankenstein story, with some truly unsettling imagery. - Notes from the BAMcinématek

Related Links
Review at Strictly Film School

New 35mm Print!
(1984) dir Hiroshi Teshigahara [72 min]

One artist's contemplation of another's legacy, Teshigahara's "architectural symphony"(The New York Times) explores the work of the legendary Antonio Gaudi, the famed Catalan architect who sensually combined Gothic, Middle Eastern, and traditional architecture into his own unique style. It's also one of the most successful art-house films ever made, breaking box office records across the country. And it's easy to see why: the beauty of Teshigahara's camera gliding through the Sagrada Familia, set to Toru Takemitsu's expressive score, is an unparalleled experience. - Notes from the BAMcinématek

"The imagery in Antonio Gaudi is nothing less than astounding in its beauty and boldness."- The New York Times

Related Links
Review at Strictly Film School
Boston Globe Review (11/6/04)

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