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Ugetsu Monogatari / Oyu-Sama [Masters Of Cinema] [1951] [DVD]

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Kinuyo Tanaka, Nobuko Otowa, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo
  • 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 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment LTD
  • DVD Release Date: 21 April 2008
  • Run Time: 191 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014QC9ZS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,182 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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. Another literary adaptation this time of a story by one of Japan's modern literary masters, novelist Tanizaki Jun'ichiro Mizoguchi's Oyu-sama [Miss Oyu] is a poignant and contemplative tale of two sisters and their ill-fated relationship with the same man. At the core is Mizoguchi-regular Tanaka Kinuyo (who also stars in Ugetsu Monogatari) as the eponymous Oyu, the older sister who allows marital customs to dictate the lives of those caught up in this complex love triangle. Continuing the director's fascination with the relationship between affairs of the heart and the social mores that shape and sometimes destroy them, Mizoguchi transforms his subject matter into the realm of the transcendental through the use of long, mobile shots an approach that reaches its apotheosis in a take of almost six minutes infused with humanity and emotion. SPECIAL FEATURES: 2 x disc special edition containing new film restorations of both films. 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. 56-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.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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. 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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By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD
It seems more than a little pretentious for some country bumpkin from the backwoods of Wiltshire to try and review two films by the revered Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, where so many respected film historians have already trod. David Thomson the acclaimed film writer thought "Ugetsu Monogatari" to be one of the finest films ever made. Barry Norman, who needs no introduction, didn't place it in his top 100 films of all time. The film made in black and white in 1953 was a silver lion winner at the Venice film festival that year. Mizoguchi's films which were long unavailable in the west are now more accessible, and this double DVD is a very good introduction. Be warned that Mizoguchi's work is much more Japanese in character than Akira Kurosawa's more western influenced films, and therefore require more patience. But this patience can be rewarded.

"Ugetsu" is set in 16th century Japan in villages on Lake Biwa in Omi province. We follow the lives of two couples who struggle during a difficult time of civil war, where as always the civilian populace suffers the most. One man dreams of becoming a samurai whilst the other dreams of making his fortune. Both are seduced by their dreams and the worship of false idols. They fail to see the riches that are close to them. Like all the great films it has something to say! The choices we make in life and human transience. Mizoguchi directs proceedings like a master puppeteer carefully orchestrating scenes, the strings held together by his dream like roving camera, a camera that constantly involves the viewer in intimate scenes. The final scenes are particularly memorable.

"Oyu Sama" or "Miss Oyu", another film made in black and white, also uses these same techniques in a film of manners and forbidden love.
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Format: DVD
I saw Ugetsu at a tiny local cinema club during my student days. It was the one movie which still shines in my memory most. threaded with all the famed hallmarks of Mizoguchi touch, this is the one to see and the one to fill you deep with Mizoguchi vision. Supernatural love and beauty has never been the same again since this movie. Chilling, touching, breathtaking, the sacrificed spirit of female love will linger long after you leave the movie theatre...
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