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Posted by martinteller on September 5, 2010

A true oddity from Von Sternberg.  The story of a naval crew stranded on a remote island whose inhabitants are one man and one woman… a “Lord of the Flies”-esque scenario where civilization gradually breaks down.  The odd part?  The tale is based on a Japanese novel, and the entire cast and crew is Japanese, with English narration by JVS himself.   The narrator is supposedly one of the participants, though it’s never revealed which one.  The whole thing has a thick dreamlike quality, aided by a haunting score from Akira Ifukube (who has a long, long resume, including a lot of Zatoichi films, a number of Toho monster movies, and most notably The Burmese Harp).  For most of the cast, this was their only role, or one of a small handful.  For “Queen Bee” Akemi Negishi, however, it would be the beginning of a fruitful career, including several collaborations with Kurosawa.  A strange and fascinating film, with thoughtful narration.  Rating: 8


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