Film

Woman of the Lake
FILM

Woman of the Lake

女のみづうみ (Onna no mizuumi)
Sunday, April 18, 2010

© Shochiku Co., Ltd.



1966, 94 min., 35 mm, B&W, in Japanese with live English subtitles. Directed by Kiju Yoshida. With Mariko Okada, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi, Tamotsu Hayakawa. Print courtesy of Shochiku Co., Ltd.

Based on a novel by Nobel prize-winning author Yasunari Kawabata, Kiju Yoshida’s film approaches the topic of sexual encounters in the manner of a fogbound documentary and the nocturnal gravity of a requiem. In this surrealist erotic story reminiscent of Antonioni’s visual universe and some of Bergman’s formal experiments, it is indeed hard to tell where character ends and texture begins—so much of the film seems to unfold near the skin. Here, Okada’s trademark character—a woman of quiet intensity and strong will, yet fumbling for undefined sexual fulfillment—takes a lover to escape the somber dissatisfaction of her loveless marriage. One night, she allows him to take nude pictures of her, but the negatives are soon stolen and she faces threats of blackmail from an anonymous stranger. She complies with the blackmailer’s demands and travels to recover the negatives, embarking on a journey that soon aligns her darkest desires with those of her shadowy aggressor.

Part of the Globus Film Series:
Mad, Bad.... & Dangerous to Know: Three Untamed Beauties

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