Pitfall (Otoshiana )

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Pitfall is set against the background of labour relations in the Japanese mining industry.  It’s the first collaboration between Teshigahara, writer Kodo Abe.  A miner and his son travel the countryside searching for work.  Stalked by an unnerving, immaculately suited assassin he is killed brutally and left for dead.  It is also a ghost story, as miner rises from the dead and wanders the camp looking for answers to his murder. The child hides and avoids contact with the human beings around him.  Tesigahara builds a fascinating film by using a number of different tools-cinematography,numerous themes and a range of genre and stylistic conventions.  The film is not only an unsettling ghost story, but also a murder mystery, a tragic tale of human desperation.  Meanwhile, the music is creepily effective in making you very aware of the characters every move and keeping you on edge.  Teshigahara’s  visual flair, evident in his sculptural use of wastelands and remarkable superimpositions, is matched by  Takemitsu’s unorthodox score.

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