For all its bleak and creepy premise, Hiroshi Teshigahara's Oscar-winning film is a thing of methodically constructed, surrealist beauty. Niki Junpei is an amateur entomologist whose trip to collect beetles in a remote area of sand dunes runs longer than expected when he misses his return bus. The dune dwellers persuade Niki to spend the night in the home of one of their own, a young woman who lives under a sandpit.
When he awakes the next morning he finds the ladder he used to enter the pit is gone; he is trapped and must join the woman in her sisyphean task of digging sand for the villagers to sell to cities. Though he rebels at first, Niki gradually grows accustomed to his confinement, and to his companion. Brutal, somewhat claustrophobia-inducing, and full of erotic, passionate interludes, this art-house flick is not one to be missed. See it at Guild Hall tonight at 7:30.
[Image via 15 Year-Old Critic]