02 June 2005

Pitfall by Hiroshi Teshigahara

Following on from 'The Face of Another' which I recently caught on DVD I also rented 'Pitfall' by Teshigahara. This earlier film from 1962 was also an interesting, almost experimental peice of cinema, for me similar to watching 'The Face of Another'.

Pitfall tells the story of a murder, only the victim then inhabits the earth and wanders amongst the living. The film uses sparce almost minimalist music, superb black and white photography and almost no special effects. The action revolves around mining and there is a strand about unions and strikes. The story is almost told from the child's perspective who seems to look on as events unfold. What I quite liked was the matter of fact way in which the death and 'ghosting' for want of a better way unfold. Just like the air of science fiction was very different in 'The Face of Another' in Pitfall the way Teshigahara deals with the after life is very unusual.

The DVD contained a commentary from the excellent Asian Cinema critic Tony Rayns.

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