Having refined his craft in the silent era, Kenji Mizoguchi was an elder statesman of Japanese cinemaâfiercely revered by Akira Kurosawa and other younger directorsâby the time he made Ugetsu. And with this exquisite ghost story, a fatalistic wartime tragedy derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, he created a touchstone of his art, his long takes and sweeping camera guiding the viewer through a delirious narrative about two villagers whose pursuit of fame and fortune leads them far astray from their loyal wives. Moving between the terrestrial and the otherworldly, Ugetsu reveals essential truths about the ravages of war, the plight of women, and the pride of men.
Audio commentary by filmmaker, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975), a comprehensive, 150-minute documentary by filmmaker Kaneto Shindo, with new and improved subtitles
Two Worlds Intertwined, a new, 14-minute appreciation of Ugetsu by director Masahiro Shinoda
Process and Production, a new, 20-minute video interview with Tokuzo Tanaka, first assistant director on Ugetsu
Ten-minute video interview with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa, from 1992