By Chelsea Spear
Woman in the Dunes – Hiroshi Teshigahara – 1964
The titles of the 1964 drama Woman in the Dunes fill the screen with heavy, rough lettering, spelling the Japanese title out in sumi-e, a traditional form of calligraphy. The opening shot depicts the lead character, Niki Jumpei (played by Eiji Okada of Hiroshima Mon Amour) wandering the dunes in a dress shirt and jacket that give him the appearance of a salary-man on holiday. In these early shots of the film, director Hiroshi Teshigahara contrasts elements of the contemporary and the mythic, a juxtaposition which will drive his trademark film.