Teshigahara's The Man Without A Map tells the story of a private detective who is hired to find a missing man by his wife. The search is long and ultimately unsuccessful but as things progress the detective's life slowly begins to resemble the life of the man he is looking for. Hiroshi Teshigahara's film is an beautiful film that is ominous, mysterious and ultimately quite ambiguous. It's the type of film that has got to require multiple re-watches in an attempt to capture all the small details in this puzzling, yet engrossing film. While Teshigahara's highly praised films consist of beautiful black and white, his transition to color is unnoticeable, delivering beautiful imagery. The film uses lots of vintage Teshigahara-quick zooms, extreme close-ups and exquisite depth of frame that uses the foreground and background of the image to the full extent. The camera in this film is incredibly voyeuristic, perhaps used as a way to help isolate the detective from the world, creating this sense that he is ultimately alone, adding to this mysterious atmosphere. The same can be said for the editing, with some very abrupt transitions almost intentionally trying to confuse the viewer. For me, this film is really about the loneliness in people's lives and how the hustle and bustle of everyday life takes away our own personal identity to some degree. This is illustrated in the films prevalent use of cars shown in traffic or flying around on freeways, showing the disconnect between the individual and the collective. This could be incredibly off-base and not at all what Teshigahara was going for, but yea, that's what I got. Either way, I absolutely have to read the book by Abe Kobo and re-watch this a few times to truly grasp all it's themes.
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