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The Man Without a Map

Posted by martinteller on July 7, 2013

Hiroshi Teshigahara did five collaborations with writer Kobo Abe.  The first four — Pitfall, Woman in the Dunes, The Face of Another and the short Ako — are all included in Criterion’s Teshigahara box set.  This last one is not, and it’s not hard to see why.  It’s significantly weaker than the previous films.  A noir-esque tale of a private detective hired by a woman to find her missing husband, it’s a morass of confusion.  Most of the time I strained to follow the story, and there was little else to grasp onto.  The existential themes of the other films don’t come through as clearly here, so you’re left with a Mr. Arkadin-style tale that makes even less sense.  There are some nice surreal touches, but my inability to understand the plot developments or discern any significant message impeded my enjoyment.  The film has a handful of ardent fans, so perhaps I need to see it again in a different frame of mind.  Rating: Poor (45)

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