Hiroshi Teshigahara, Pitfall (still), 1962; image: courtesy Janus Films

Film

Pitfall

Part of Modern Cinema: Criterion Collection and Apichatpong Weerasethakul

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When a miner leaves his employers and treks out with his young son to become a migrant worker, he finds himself moving from one eerie landscape to another, intermittently followed (and photographed) by an enigmatic man in a clean, white suit—eventually coming face-to-face with his inescapable destiny. Hiroshi Teshigahara’s debut feature and first collaboration with novelist Kobo Abe, Pitfall is many things: a mysterious and unsettling ghost story, a portrait of human alienation, and a compellingly surreal critique of soulless industry, shot in elegant black and white.

“Pitfall is the kind of semi-uncanny, equivocally realist movie you might hope to duck into in a strange city, stumbling across it in a low-rent theater while escaping a bad date or a debt collector. Impressively anomalous and consistently unpredictable, Hiroshi Teshigahara’s 1962 first feature manifests a literally fugitive quality.” —Ivone Marguiles, Criterion.com


Film Details

Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 1962
Running time: 97 min
Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Producer: Tadashi Ôno
Writer: Kôbô Abe
Cinematographer: Hiroshi Segawa
Editor: Fusako Shuzui
Music: Toshi Ichiyanagi, Yûji, Takahashi, Tôru Takemitsu
With: Hisashi Igawa, Sumie Sasaki, Sen Yan, Hideo Kanze
Print Source: Janus Films


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