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.