‘Ugetsu’ Criterion Summary
By the time he made Ugetsu, Kenji Mizoguchi was already an elder statesman of Japanese cinema, fiercely revered by Akira Kurosawa and other directors of a younger generation. 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.
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- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary by critic, ﬁlmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
- Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director, a 1975 documentary by Kaneto Shindo
- Two Worlds Intertwined, a 2005 appreciation of Ugetsu by Masahiro Shinoda
- Process and Production, a 2005 interview with Tokuzo Tanaka, ﬁrst assistant director on Ugetsu
- Interview from 1992 with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa
- An essay by film critic Phillip Lopate (Blu-ray and DVD) and three short stories that influenced Mizoguchi in making the film (Blu-ray only)
Cover by Michael Boland