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Woman Of The Dunes review

A tale of survival, sensuality and sand, Hiroshi Teshigahara's resonant 1964 yarn centres on a stranded entomologist (Eiji Okada) who's offered sanctuary with a young widow (Kyôko Kishida) housed at the bottom of a desert pit. Next day, however, the exit ladder's mysteriously disappeared and our hero's forced to share his host's livelihood shovelling sand...

While there's nail-noshing tension in Okada's repeated escape attempts, the simmering eroticism of his relationship with Kishida is just as compelling. What captivates most, though, is the reach-out-and-touch texture of Hiroshi Segawa's black-and-white photography. Whether the grains are shown running like water or in super-large close-up, sand's rarely been this interesting.

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