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Ugetsu Monogatari / Oyu-Sama (Masters Of Cinema)

Released on 21 April 2008

Format: DVD | Rating: PG

4.0 out of 5 (2 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Ugetsu Monogatar: Mizoguchi's Ugetsu Monogatari [Tales of the Rain and Moon] is a highly acclaimed masterwork of Japanese cinema. Based on a pair of 18th century ghost stories by Ueda Akinari.

Amidst the pandemonium of civil war, potter Genjuro (Mori Masayuki) and samurai-aspirant Tobei (Ozawa Sakae) set out with their wives in search of wealth and military glory, respectively. Two parallel tales ensue when the men are lured from their wives: Genjuro by the ghostly charm of Lady Wakasa (Kyo Machiko); Tobei by the dream of military glory.

Famed for its meticulously orchestrated long takes and its subtle blending of realistic period reconstruction and lyrical supernaturalism, Ugetsu Monogatari is an intensely poetic tragedy that consistently features on polls of the best films ever made.

Oyu-Sama:Another literary adaptation - this time of a story by one of Japan's modern literary masters, novelist Tanizaki Jun'ichiro - Mizoguchi's Oyu-sama [Miss Oyu] is a poignant and contemplative tale of two sisters and their ill-fated relationship with the same man. At the core is Mizoguchi-regular Tanaka Kinuyo (who also stars in Ugetsu Monogatari) as the eponymous Oyu, the older sister who allows marital customs to dictate the lives of those caught up in this complex love triangle.

Continuing the director's fascination with the relationship between affairs of the heart and the social mores that shape and sometimes destroy them, Mizoguchi transforms his subject matter into the realm of the transcendental through the use of long, mobile shots - an approach that reaches its apotheosis in a take of almost six minutes - infused with
humanity and emotion.
  • New and improved English subtitles.
  • Video discussions about both Ugetsu Monogatari and Oyu-sama by acclaimed Japanese film expert/critic, festival programmer, and filmmaker Tony Rayns.
  • Original theatrical trailers.
  • 56-page booklet featuring writing by Keiko I. McDonald (author of Mizoguchi and editor of Ugetsu) and award-winning translations of Ueda Akinari's 'The Reed-Choked House' and 'A Serpent's Lust', tales adapted by Mizoguchi in Ugetsu Monogatari.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (2 reviews)

 Worth seeing

| | See all husified's reviews (5)

The work of a mature artist, it resonates with Buddhist practice, and is a profoundly moving tale of the suffering of the human condition, the violence of war, the possibilities of art uplifting the spirit, the possibilities of redemption of character. The closing scene is one of such deeply-felt compassion and understanding that it is almost frightening; it prefigures in a way the stunning and more personal close of the subsequent Mizoguchi film "Sansho the Baliff".

On a lighter level, it is an amusingly sly allegory of the actual history of Japan for the 20 or so years prior to 1953, where in the end the women, embittered (or dead) as a result of their men's quixotic quest for military glory or war-profiteering, entreat them to give up their misguided and destructive dreams, settle down, and get back to their real responsibilities.

 beautiful

| | See all martina2's reviews (39)

On the cover of my Ugetsu monogatari dvd says: this drama is transformed into the most beatiful poem of love and humbleness ever filmed. And I agree.

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DirectorKenji Mizoguchi
CertificatePG
Year1951 ; 1953
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.