Ugetsu Monogatari (Classic Tuesdays)

Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan, 1953

Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinyou Tanaka Rated PG Run time 96 mins

Mizoguchi’s intricately-woven tale of love, greed, ambition, delusion and supernatural passion in civil-war-torn Senjoku-era Japan is not just one of his greatest works: it’s also simply one of the finest films ever made. Superb performances and masterly camerawork lead the viewer inexorably through a switchback of events and emotions to a shattering conclusion. Utterly unmissable.

100% – Rotten Tomatoes

8.2/ 10 – IMDB

“an unearthly fable, uncanny because it revives in us those childhood fears aroused by a wind whistling in the chimney-piece or doors creaking in the night. Throughout it, as in a dream, we find ourselves in a mysterious, fabulous country of rivers wreathed in mists, drab dry villages, parched plains, and ghost-haunted castles.”

“Mizoguchi would have agreed with Aristotle that a work of art should imitate the movements of the mind and not an ordering of facts; for it is in this sense, above all, that his realism is classical.”

An essay in the uncanny: Ugetsu Monogatari – BFI