(aka 'Otoshiana' or 'Kashi to kodomo" or "The Pitfall')

directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Japan 1962

Teshigahara's debut feature, Pitfall [Otoshiana], was the first of his collaborations with novelist/playwright Kobo Abe and composer Toru Takemitsu. Beautifully filmed in an abandoned, postwar coal-mining town in Western Japan, it is part social-realist critique, part unsettling ghost fable. Examining themes of alienation, workers' rights, and identity, Teshigahara and Abe's exotically strange film evokes the cinema of Antonioni, Resnais, the writing of Kafka, Beckett, Carroll, and the French existentialists.

A wandering miner, looking for work with his young son, is pursued by a mysterious, silent assassin in a white suit and hat. As mistrust and killings spread through the barely populated, rundown mining community, ghosts of the dead appear, unheard by the living, yet imploring them for answers. Who is the man in white and why does he sow confusion?

Teshigahara coined the term "documentary fantasy" for this study of the powerless, impoverished worker in postwar Japan
.

Excerpt from the Eureka Website

Theatrical Release: 1962 - Japan

Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Eureka (Master of Cinema series # 5) - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution Eureka (Master of Cinema Series # 5) - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:33:03
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka (Master of Cinema Series # 5)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Exclusive full-length audio commentary by Tony Rayns
• New English subtitle translation
• 12-page booklet with an essay by David Toop
• Original trailer
• Gallery containing rare production stills and artwork

DVD Release Date: February 21st, 2005

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 13

 

Comments:

This is an amazingly sharp dual layered disc- HD transferred, progressive - excellent contrast and strong black levels - well-appointed subtitles - Full-length Tony Rayns  commentary! I don't know what else we can ask for. It looks like Eureka have pulled out all the stop in this new Masters of Cinema Series edition. Looks like a must-own for Japanese cinema fans. I am reminded of the Criterion Onibaba out of

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Distribution Eureka (Master of Cinema Series # 6) - Region 2 - PAL

 


 



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