Blu-ray, DVD Editions: Woman in the Dunes

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 23, 2016
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $27.95
Studio: Criterion

One of the 1960s’ great international art-house sensations, Woman in the Dunes was for many the grand unveiling of the surreal, idiosyncratic world of Hiroshi Teshigahara (The Face of Another).

WomanDunes1_optEiji Okada (Hiroshima mon amour) plays an amateur entomologist who has left Tokyo to study an unclassified species of beetle found in a vast desert. When he misses his bus back to civilization, he is persuaded to spend the night with a young widow (Kyoko Kishida) in her hut at the bottom of a sand dune.

What results is one of cinema’s most unnerving and palpably erotic battles of the sexes, as well as a nightmarish depiction of the Sisyphean struggle of everyday life—an achievement that garnered Teshigahara an Academy Award nomination for best director.

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the 1964 film are presented in  Japanese with English subtitles and contain the following features:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Video essay on the film from 2007 by film scholar James Quandt
  • Four short films from director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s early career: Hokusai(1953), Ikebana(1956), Tokyo 1958 (1958), and Ako (1965)
  • Teshigahara and Abe,a 2007 documentary examining the collaboration between Teshigahara and novelist Kobo Abe, featuring interviews with film scholars Donald Richie and Tadao Sato, film programmer Richard Peña, set designer Arata Isozaki, producer Noriko Nomura, and screenwriter John Nathan
  • Trailer
  • An essay by film scholar Audie Bock and a 1980 interview with Teshigahara
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.