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Criterion Releases Classic Teshigahara Films

23 Apr, 2007 By: Billy Gil

Criterion Collection continues its line of award-winning, hard-to-find classics with the release of three films by new-wave Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara.

Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara corrals the films Pitfall, Woman in the Dunes and The Face of Another on a four-disc set loaded with bonus features, available July 10 (prebook June 5) at $79.95.

Pitfall (1962) was the director's first full-length film. It follows a miner who sets out with his young son to become a migrant worker, finding himself stuck amid lost souls in desolate locales.

Woman in the Dunes (1964) was nominated for best director and best foreign language film Oscars. The film is an erotic, surreal tale of an amateur entomologist studying beetles in a remote Japanese desert who is coerced into staying to live with a woman who constantly battles to keep her home afloat in a sea of sand.

The Face of Another (1966) tells of a man who, after suffering a disfiguring accident, has a face transplant, rendering his previous life null and void as he seeks out a new place in the world.

The existential films have been digitally remastered and are accompanied by video essays on all three films by critic and festival programmer James Quandt; a new documentary about the relationship between Teshigahara and author K?b? Abe, who wrote the screenplays as well as the novels upon which they are based; a booklet featuring essays and interviews; and four short films by Teshigahara: Hokusai (1953), Ikebana (1956), Tokyo 1958 (1958) and Ako/White Morning (1963).

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