Shinpachi, a poor samurai with no prospects, gets in an argument with Magodayu, a high-ranking officer, resulting in an illegal duel and Magodayu's death. To save face for both familes, ... See full summary »
An entomologist searching for insects by the seaside is trapped by local villagers into living with a widow whose life task is digging up sand for them, and eventually develops strong feelings for her.
This was the first film I had seen by Nomura and constituted a major disappointment. Nomura appears to belong to the static variety of Japanese directors, preferring lingering and beautiful black and white shots over the bravura editing of contemporaries such as Seijun Suzuki or early Kurosawa. This approach really does not fit the material which is a stultifyingly dull and procedural mystery story that at no point rises above the generic, or generates any palpable tension or danger.
A point of comparison would be Rebecca by Hitchcock, mostly because of its focus on coastal scenery and echoes of the past affecting a hurried marriage. But this movie lacks any of the sexual or psychological aspects that make Rebecca so interesting. Some of the dialogue and minor performances are appalling. At one point a coastguard turns to a distraught bereaved wife and advises, straightfaced, "Why don't you walk to Noto cliff, It is very beautiful and a common spot to commit suicide." How did that ever get beyond the editing suite? Even the final exposition is ridiculously forced and overlong that I was tempted to fast forward to the end of the ending. One to miss
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