5 Film Jobs that Give Sisyphus No Right to Complain


Does working naked make it look harder? Probably, because google keeps giving me naked Sisyphus pics

Some people complain about their jobs being boring. Some people complain about being treated like robots. Some people just don’t like working. Well, Sisyphus was an unlucky bastard who didn’t have a choice, and had to roll a boulder up a hill for the rest of his life. Sucky, yes, but the jobs in these films give even Sisyphus a run for his money if only he got paid.

1. Teshigahara Hiroshi – Suna no onna / Woman in the Dunes (1964)

The Job: Shoveling sand out of a large pit for the rest of your life.
The Pay: Free stuff from the villagers (food, cigs, etc) and a nympho roommate.
The Problem: Take a day off and you wake up 30 feet under a sand dune. Also, you’re technically a hostage.

Pushing a rock up a hill sounds tough, but at least it doesn’t require much concentration. Being a myth, I also assume Sisyphus is built like the Incredible Hulk, which means he’s just phoning it in all day. Well, you’re probably an entomologist (I doubt this requires much physical training) like Jumpei, and you’re stuck in a remote village that’s being eaten up by the desert. By stuck, I mean held against your will, with a giant wall of sand, quicksand pits, and angry villagers blocking your escape. Well, at least the roommate’s hot (or will be once you get desperate).

Suna no onna / Woman in the Dunes

Sand, sand, desperate entomologist, sand, etc

2. Ichikawa Kon – Biruma no tategoto / The Burmese Harp (1956)

The Job: Burying all the people who died during World War 2 in Burma.
The Pay: A reservation for 1 in Heaven, a cartload of karma, an all expense paid trip to Jannah or any other form of payment in the afterlife.
The Problem: Dead bodies don’t smell like roses and are rife with disease. Officially, 272,000 (Two Hundred Seventy Two frickin’ Thousand) Burmese died during WW2. Add to that the number of Allied and Japanese troops who met their end there, and.. well, let’s just say that if you really want to finish you might have to spend the afterlife burying dead dudes too.

Though this one’s by free choice and the pay is unparalleled, this has to be the suckiest job in the history of forever. I also forgot to mention above that you have to become a monk, and pretty much give up all worldly pleasure, unlike the job above. Which means your schedule is pretty much: 6 hours of sleep, 3 hour of meditation, 10 hours burying dead people, 5 hours trying to get that smell off. At least you’ll get into heaven. Eventually.

Biruma no tategoto / The Burmese Harp

Seventy-three down three hundred thousand to go

3. Shindô Kaneto – Hadaka no shima / The Naked Island (1960)

The Job: Farming on a barren island, with the closest water source a cliff away. For the rest of your life of course.
The Pay: Food on the table and pretty much nothing else.
The Problem: The island sucks and there’s no way to irrigate. Carrying bucketloads of water from the sea up cliffs everyday is the only option if you want to survive. The pay sucks too.

You’re a farmer and you pretty much don’t know anything else. You also don’t own anything–no land and barely any equipment–so moving isn’t a very likely option either. So, you’re stuck on an island that no one else wants. Although with the potential of becoming mega-buff from carrying buckets of water all day, you could one day become a Mister Universe contender (best case scenario), a professional body builder (decent case scenario) or a circus performer (worst case scenario). That last one might still be better than this though.

Hadaka no shima / The Naked Island

This job is so boring I can't even think of anything witty to say

4. Zhang Lu – Hyazgar / Desert Dream (2007)

The Job: Planting trees in the desert to stop desertification or something
The Pay: Not living in the desert or a world for your children that isn’t entirely crap
The Problem: Your family is pissed with your job, the desert is huge, and trees take a long time to grow. Basically you’re already screwed.

Desertification, especially in timelapse, is SCARY. It pretty much engulfs anything in its way and turns it into a sand dune or a camel parking lot. Imagine living right on the edge of this desert, planting a bunch of trees, and hoping for them to grow in time to stop the advance. Not fun, especially since trees enjoy growing slowly, and can’t defend themselves at all. Your family will eventually get tired of this life and leave you. Add strange travelers, North Korean refugees and possibly bandits.. and actually it doesn’t sound so boring. It still sucks though.

Hyazgar / Desert Dream

All we have to do now is wait another 50 years!

5. Sekiguchi Gen – Survive Style 5+ (2005) [Asano and Hashimoto Reika segment]

The Job: Kill your wife.
The Pay: I assume: a new, hotter wife.
The Problem: She revives after you kill her, more insane than the last time. Also, possibly hotter. See below.

Survive Style 5+


Do any activity for too long and it will get boring. Even something as crazy and potentially fun as killing your wife. Who just won’t die. Sure, you can probably imagine 7,396 novel ways to kill her, but that’d only take around three years (at 3 hours per murder and 6 hours of rest/sleep a day). Eventually it’ll just be a routine strangling or gunshot for the rest of eternity. This effectively makes even murder boring. Also, this is the opposite of Biruma no tategoto, because, after killing your wife 100,000 times, you’re definitely going to hell and have ferrets feed on your eyeballs and be forced to watch the Teletubbies til the end of time.

Why you’d ever want to kill Hashimoto Reika in the first place, instead of making out with her for the rest of forever, is beyond me though. Seriously?

Survive Style 5+



My Choice: Survive Style 5+, if only for the possibility of fixing that marriage and making out with Reika the rest of my life. If not, well, looking at her everyday is at least a bazillion times better than shoveling sand, burying dead people, watching trees grow or carrying buckets of water.

Hashimoto Reika

I really just wanted to post another picture