To any film lover, the thought of being limited to a mere five movies for an indefinite period is nightmarish. Even when given a choice of titles, countless favorites have to be left out, not to mention the seemingly infinite number of films that remain unseen. After much debate, here are the five classic movies (i.e., from the 1970s or earlier) that I would want to compose my desert island library.
Across an immense sandscape, a man (Eiji Okada) walks alone. His progress is slow, but he’s in no particular hurry. A schoolteacher and amateur entomologist, Jumpei Niki has come to the dunes in search of insects and in order to get away from his life in Tokyo for a few days. After a while, he lies down in a half-buried rowboat, where he envisions a woman (Hiroko Itô) while musing to himself about all of the documents that people use to make certain of one another: “Men and women are slaves to their fear of being cheated. In turn they dream up new certificates to prove their innocence. No one can say where it will end. They seem endless. You criticized me for arguing too much. But the facts speak for themselves.”