Screenshots from The Petrified Forest (1973) / Kaseki no mori 化石の森.

Opening sequence, leaving Hachimori Station 八森駅, Akita (map). The next stops to the south and north are Higashi Hachimori 東八森駅 and Takinoma 滝ノ間駅, respectively.

Leaving snowy Akita prefecture:

Tokyo smog and opening titles:

The film has a simultaneous feeling of isolation and suffocation that is reinforced by the film’s depiction of the city:

A rare feeling of joy…

…is interrupted by a near disaster:

This somber scene on a rain-soaked day is a decent visual shorthand for the film’s mood…not counting some of the more erotic and perverse elements that I don’t want to spoil for prospective viewers:

The jarring image of this love hotel, where the main character’s mother works, is reminiscent of the film’s depiction of lust:

If you’re in the right mood, this is a rewarding film to watch. Interestingly, the story is based on the 1970 novel of the same name by Shintaro Ishihara 石原 慎太郎, mayor of Tokyo from 1999-2012.

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