Japan | 97 min.
black & white
• 2 x disc special edition containing new transfers of both Ugetsu Monogatari and Oyu-sama.
• 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.
• 64-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.
Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953
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, the film’s release continued Mizoguchi’s introduction to the West, where it was nominated for an Oscar (for Best Costume Design) and won the the Venice Film Festival Silver Lion award (for Best Direction).
In 16th century Japan, 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.
The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Mizoguchi’s films for the first time on home video in the UK — Ugetsu Monogatari is only available as a twinpack with Oyu-sama.