January 09, 2017
The glittering surfaces of classic fairy tales often mask undercurrents of emotional torment, spiritual foreboding, and moral transgression. This week, our latest series on the Criterion . . . Read more »
Having refined his craft in the silent era, Kenji Mizoguchi was an elder statesman of Japanese cinema—fiercely revered by Akira Kurosawa and other younger directors—by the time he made Ugetsu. And with this exquisite ghost story, a fatalistic wartime tragedy derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, he created a touchstone of his art, his long takes and sweeping camera guiding the viewer through a delirious narrative about two villagers whose pursuit of fame and fortune leads them far astray from their loyal wives. Moving between the terrestrial and the otherworldly, Ugetsu reveals essential truths about the ravages of war, the plight of women, and the pride of men.
|Original story||Akinari Ueda|
|Screenplay||Matsutaro Kawaguchi and Yoshikata Yoda|
|Art director||Kisaku Ito|
|Period authenticity||Kusune Kainosho|