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I have not seen the film yet so I do not want to downgrade what everyone sees as a masterpiece. However, be careful because this Criterion Blu-ray edition is not « all regions » as mentioned in the description by Amazon.
Una de las obras imprescindibles de Kenji Mizoguchi, en donde la insólita irrupción de lo oniríco y lo sobrenatural son un pretexto para que el maestro japonés reflexione acerca de la vida, la realidad, el caos y la ambición, pero por sobre todo, se trata de un poema visual el cual tiene como eje principal la trascendencia del amor por encima de la muerte. Como siempre en Criterion, la calidad de imágen y sonido es sobresaliente y los extras de gran interés, entre los que destacan el profuso documental sobre la vida y obra del cineasta titulado KENJI MIZOGUCHI: LA VIDA DE UN DIRECTOR DE CINE dirigido por Kaneto Shindo, una entrevista con sus pensamientos acerca del film del realizador Masahiro Shinoda, y un libro con las historias originales de Akinari Ueda y Guy de Maupassant que sirvieron de inspiración para la película. Más, no se puede pedir.
One of the best movies I have ever seen. The story is very simple but it is superb. The themes are an interesting mix of the universal, and particular to Japanese culture. Even in black and white some of the visuals are close to stunning (but at the same time this is an old movie and its condition is not perfect). It is a very powerful story.
Excelente edición de Criterion de esta obra maestra frente a las frecuentes ediciones basura españolas de cine clásico, advirtiendo que esta versión ASIN B06XP4QG28 está codificada solo para zona A Blu-ray (USA) y no se podrá ver en reproductores europeos. Pero existe la misma edición codificada para zona B (Europa) con ASIN B07KZFYLFP.
Ugetsu is a film that separates itself from both period pieces of its time and from Japanese film of any era. It neither has the ferocious, exiting energy that Kurosawa successfully utilized, nor the slow mundane nature that Ozu became known for. Rather it attempts (successfully) to give a drawn out, slightly surrealistic atmosphere that exhibits images of lingering beauty throughout its short length. What drew me into the film deepest was the usage of not style or substance (if that makes sense), but rather these images that remained on your mind long after the film was finished. A sabotaged boat drifting away in the fog with nothing but a dead man aboard, an enchantress’ seduction of a naive peasant and a landscape dotted with danger and war, all make up some of the most beautiful images, that would not be out of place in a painting. They alone say more then most films do in their entire message. The film nonetheless has some very impressive subject matter to its credit, dealing with war, greed and the line between reality and the spiritual world. Throughout the film we see two peasants progressively grow to lust for the riches of the world, Genjurô desires to sell his wares and become wealthy, while Tobei desires to be a samurai and have power. In time they both get to a point where this is a reality, where one of them fulfills what he desires, the other is led into a surrealistic haze by a demonic seductress. In the end the loss of what was important all along becomes apparent, and a message of humility becomes the films point. Though it is not nearly as accessible a film as Kurosawa’s period pieces of the same time, Ugetsu succeeds on a level that they do not. It brings an element of sheer beauty I have not been acquainted with by any Japanese director. The camera moves much slower as to give you a sense of your surroundings, to allow the film to become part of you. In doing this Mizoguchi distances some viewers, while at the same time bringing many to a level impossible with any other director (Eastern or Western). He successfully does what all great artists do, he makes his art truly great and therefore truly subjective. There is not a lot I can further say about this beautiful film except that it is best taken on an image by image base with the real plot as a second consideration. When one has experienced the images the plot becomes more meaningful, and the result is one of the most beautiful films one will ever witness. I gave Kenji Mizoguchi’s crowning achievement a deserving 10/10. Ugetsu is a beautiful flawless example of the cinema that I sincerely recommend.
Saw this on independent film channel years ago. Loved this movie. Also "Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director", a 150-minute documentary from 1975 is included with this release of Ugetsu which is very interesting.