An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
Jumpei Niki, a Tokyo based entomologist and educator, is in a poor seaside village collecting specimens of sand insects. As it is late in the day and as he has missed the last bus back to the city, some of the local villagers suggest that he spend the night there, they offering to find him a place to stay. That place is the home of a young woman, whose house is located at the bottom of a sand pit accessible only by ladder. He later learns that the woman's husband and child died in a sandstorm, their undiscovered bodies buried somewhere near the house. The next morning as he tries to leave, he finds that the ladder is gone - he realizing that the ladder he climbed down was a rope ladder which is anchored above the pit - meaning that he is trapped with the young woman as the walls of the pit are sand with no grip. He also realizes that this entrapment was the villagers and the young woman's plan for him to stay there permanently to be her helper in the never-ending task of digging out ... Written by
At one point, the entomologist collects an antlion. This insect is from the family Myrmeleontidae. The larval stage is often called a "doodlebug" in the United States. The insect ensnares its prey by digging out a pit in loose sand. When the prey falls into the pit, it is unable to get out and becomes food for the antlion. This is symbolic of the situation the entomologist himself encounters when he is trapped in the sand pit. See more »
Jumpei is seen from behind, adjusting his clothing after urinating at the wall of sand. When he turns around, there are no wet or discolored areas in the sand as there would be if he had actually urinated. See more »
It's useless. The sand can swallow up cities and countries, if it wants to.
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This classic film is one of the few to still live up to the name of "perfect film". Everything in the film is perfectly controlled and at the same time so natural.
The story involves an amateur entomologist captured in a giant sand pit somewhere on the coast of a small Japanese island. He tries to escape but a mysterious woman and some nasty villagers keep pulling him back in.
Despite being made in the early sixties this film still packs a dose of eroticism that most contemporary filmmakers pray to achieve. The black and white cinematography is absolutely haunting (watch out for poor video copies which are way too dark, there is a new DVD out which shows what the original print intended)
This is about as close as you can get to a perfect film. There is nothing that could ever be improved upon.
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