Wednesday, August 8, 2012

OTOSHIANA - "Pitfall" - Toshi Ichiyanagi -Yuji Takahashi -Tôru Takemitsu - (1962)

This movie is DEEP, and I'm going to be honest, I fell asleep the first two times I tried to watch it, but it was late, and I blame El Blanco, not "Pitfall" but let me tell you this, on a film like this, the third time's the charm anyway! The very strange music, if that's what you want to call it, is a combination of the talents of Toshi (Eros Plus Massacre) Ichiyanagi, Yuji (Pale Flower) Takahashi, and Tôru (Crazed Fruit) Takemitsu!

"Pitfall" starts off a little slow,with a couple of hard working guys and a kid in postwar Japan. Life is Rice, but WTF is really going on? Dig a little deeper and we see maybe everything is not as it seems!

The main guy here is Hisashi Igawa, a man with 124 acting credits, without even one giant monster among them! Hisashi has just got a letter beckoning him to show up at a certain spot, and he will supposedly be assured a better job!

The place he goes to is nothing but a ghost town, with nothing but one woman still trying to keep her candy store open! The irony of it being a ghost town will soon be understood!

Flies, ants, and snakes are frequent fliers in this reality! In the previous 10 years Director Hiroshi Teshigahara only had a chance to do a handful of short documentaries, and "Pitfall" was his first real chance to show the world what he had, and he wasn't going to blow the opportunity!

For whatever reason, Hisashi has been set up! He's out in the middle of nowhere and this cat all dressed in white is tailing him. It's not long before the cat catches and disposes of it's prey! And the viewer says, What in the Hell is going on??

Hisashi's son witnesses the whole thing! The boy was played by Kazuo Miyahara in his only film appearance ever!

Hisashi literally appears to spring back to life after being viciously attacked and stabbed, but in reality.........

......HE'S DEAD!! He's now a ghost unable to be seen or heard by humans, but he's still walking the planet!

Hisashi meets another ghost whose neck is permanently broken for eternity! This ghost asks Hisashi if he ate before he was killed, and when he says No, he's informed that he's going to be permanently starving forever!!!

So as it turns out, what all this was leading up to, is, the Pit Boss for one of the local unions just happens to look just like Hisashi, and he was also supposed to be in that same area at the same time, so they assume, not knowing that Hisashi was summoned to come to that spot, that it was just a case of mistaken identity!

Hisashi has a different take on the whole situation!!!

In the meantime, the candy shop owner, Sumie Sasaki, who is still working in Japanese TV today, gets raped by an ignorant rogue cop, and then the man in white comes back and kills her, even though she did everything he asked of her, like physically describing Hisashi's killer as the leader of the opposing union pit crew!

The leaders of the two opposing unions have a conversation that I'm sure is still going on today!!

Then right about F'ing here it really starts to get confusing! Otsuka, the Pit Boss goes to the abandoned town where the guy that looked like him was killed, and he finds the dead shopkeeper, and she thinks he's the dead Hisashi, but he can only have contact with her dead body as she watches on helplessly! What a Fustercluck!!!

The two ghosts watch on helplessly as the two Pit Bosses come to the final determination that they can never come to any agreement!!

One guy stabs the other before the other guy gets drowned! It's a draw! The final draw, and unfortunately for both, this is now their stupid life together for eternity!

If the man in white has all the answers, he's not telling, because the questions are coming from ghosts, and he can't hear them!!

Hiroshi Teshigahara idolized the work of Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel, and I think it's pretty self evident in this painting of his, and in "Pitfall!" If you don't like intelligent black and white foreign flicks with sub-titles, then avoid this movie like the plague, but if that's your cup of green tea, you can get this DVD from Netflix for some reason you should be thankful for!

1 comment:

Admin said...

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