Monday, May 22, 2017

Woman of the Lake (1966)

Directed by Yoshishige Yoshida
My rating: 3 stars out of 4

A married woman and her lover meet regularly at a hotel in Tokyo. She agrees to let him take nude pictures of her, but she gets "mugged" while leaving the hotel and the negatives are stolen. The mugger turns out to be a teacher who had been spying on them. He blackmails her not for money but for time together. He eventually gets his way in a wrecked boat on a windswept beach. They struggle to deal with the consequences. Moody melodrama artfully shot by Tatsuo Suzuki in widescreen makes the most of its locations and beautiful actresses. However, he is given too much leeway, with love scenes that go on far too long for no reason other than to showcase naked bodies in the shadows. Elusive character motivations and wide open ending further erode enjoyment, but not appreciation, for this difficult, if compelling, film. Compare to L'Avventura.

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