Taking place at Film Forum, TAKEMITSU is a 14-day festival of movies
scored by the legendary Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu (1930-1996).
Among the nineteen films to be screened are Hiroshi Teshighara's Woman
in the Dunes (1964), Masaki Kobayashi's Hara Kiri (1962),
and Akira Kurosawa's Ran (1985).
We have partnered with Film
Forum to produce a series of blog posts throughout the next two
weeks which presents trailers, clips and explanatory notes for six of
the Takemitsu-scored films.
Film: Woman in the DunesDirector: Hiroshi TeshigaharaYear: 1964
in the Dunes trailerCourtesy Toho Co., Ltd.
Bug-hunting schoolteacher Eiji Okada climbs to the bottom of a
sandpit, where he finds widow Kyoko Kishida living in a shack—then can't
get out. But his rages against an absurd fate slowly give way to a
tormented passion. The Takemitsu score "adds immeasurably to the aura of
eroticism and enigma, a counterpart to Teshigahara's tactile imagery of
sand and flesh"—James Quandt, Special Jury Prize, Cannes.
"Takemitsu's music for Woman in the Dunes relies almost
totally on a string ensemble. The sounds, alternately shrill, harsh, and
menacing, form a perfect soundscape ... but this 'composed' music is
only part of Takemitsu's unique contribution to the film. The weird
environment is the dominating quality of the film, and, recognizing
this, Takemitsu gives life to the sand through sound. It is there at all
times, even when a scene seems completely silent. The soft, barely
audible sizzle or hiss or patter of sand—dripping, shifting, and
constantly in motion—[it] inhabits every moment of the film, as it does
every moment of the protagonists’ terrifying existence."—Peter Grilli
"The sand has its own identity ... and without Toru's help, we never
would have been able to realize this fully."—Hiroshi Teshigahara
—Courtesy of Film Forum