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  • Chikamatsu Monogatari/ Uwasa no Onna [Masters of Cinema] [DVD]
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Chikamatsu Monogatari/ Uwasa no Onna [Masters of Cinema] [DVD]

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Product details

  • Directors: Kenji Mizoguchi
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Feb. 2008
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0010NWANQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,078 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Based on a centuries old tale with roots in real events, Chikamatsu Monogatari [A Tale From Chikamatsu, aka The Crucified Lovers] tells the hauntingly tragic story of a forbidden love affair between a merchant's wife, Osan (Kyoko Kagawa), and her husband's employee, Mohei (Kazuo Hasegawa), in an era when the punishment for adultery was crucifixion. When a series of innocent events lead to the false accusation of an affair between Osan and Mohei, the accused pair are forced to flee an almost certain death sentence. On the run, the outlaw couple grow closer together, drawn inexorably towards the romantic crime of which they are accused. In the hands of Mizoguchi, Chikamatsu Monogatari depicts two people caught up in a constricted world where true love and social obligation are at odds. His portrayal of the lovers' dilemma lead famed director Akira Kurosawa to describe the film as "a great masterpiece that could only have been made by Mizoguchi." Released the same year, Uwasa no Onna [The Woman in the Rumour] offers a contrasting portrait of attitudes and mores concerning love and relationships. Set in a modern Kyoto geisha house, the eponymous woman in the rumour is Hatsuko (Kinuyo Tanaka, star of countless Mizoguchi films, in her last role for the director with whom she was often romantically linked), madame of her own geisha house. When Hatsuko ends up pursuing the same man as her daughter, Yukiko (Yoshiko Kuga), both women are forced to confront their attitudes towards each other and the family business. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present these films for the first time on home video in the UK. SPECIAL FEATURES: 2 x disc special edition containing new film restorations of both films, New and improved English subtitles, Video discussions about both Chikamatsu Monogatari and Uwasa no Onna 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 Mark Le Fanu (author of Mizoguchi and Japan), as well as extracts from Chikamatsu Monzaemon's 'The Almanac of Love' and Ihara Saikaku's 'What the Seasons Brought to the Almanac-Maker', texts adapted by Mizoguchi in Chikamatsu Monogatari.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By HJ on 23 May 2008
Format: DVD
Mizoguchi is the favourite director of many a "cineaste" - that his films are being put out on dvd by the avowedly cineaste Masters of Cinema label is a dream come true. So far the series is more than living up to expectations.
The format is brilliant - each release contains one classic and one lesser known related film, rather like a main feature and a supporting feature. This is a great (& affordable) way of quickly releasing a representative cross-section of Mizo films. As well as the 2 discs, each release has wonderful packaging & very substantial booklets with lots of photographs, original poster art, essays & translations of the Japanese literary source materials.
The only (minor) criticism I have is of Tony Rayns' short filmed introductions. While I normally respect Mr Rayns, here he merely recounts second-hand gossip about Mizoguchi & film company politics, virtually dismissing the films themselves as hack-work. I'm all for demystification but this is ridiculous!
What about the films? They are all black & white, postwar (40s & 50s). SANSHO & UGETSU are feudal period films, stunningly shot & overwhelming emotional roller-coaster rides. Both are extremely haunting - literally so in the case of UGETSU with its strange supernatural & ghostly elements. Both films are both regularly listed on "greatest films of all time" lists & probably need no introduction. If you are relatively new to Mizoguchi you should get the SANSHO & UGETSU dvds first. The other main feature CHIKAMATSU MONOGATARI is a bit erratic in tone but still excellent. It's another period film, telling of doomed adulterous lovers on the run who transgress every social code of the time.
I hadn't seen the three "supporting" films before but they turn out to be interesting if uneven.
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