May 2009: Ugetsu 05/15/2009
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Hailed as one of Japan’s greatest masterpieces, Kenji Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu is a fable, a ghost story and a display of man’s tragic tendency to ignore what he has, in order to pursue what he cannot achieve. Released in 1953 to critical acclaim, Ugetsu received the Silver Lion Award for best direction at the Venice Film Festival. In the 50-plus years since, it has made multiple appearances on the Sight & Sound Poll, which is taken at decadal intervals to determine a consensus among critics on the greatest films ever made. Ugetsu was chosen as the 29th best film of the 20th Century by the Village Voice newspaper. The love for this film will likely remain undeterred and perhaps it will even grow as we go further into the lifespan of the young art that is cinema. It embodies much of what we seek in a film; It take us into a world, a world close enough to our own to engross us but inventive enough to fascinate us, and while we are there we can find something within ourselves.
posted by adam cook
For the rest of The Cineastes writings on Ugetsu, explore the sidebar on the right
Neil Alcock at The Incredible Suit