Japan | 97 min.
black & white
• Newly exclusively restored high-definition transfer of Ugetsu Monogatari in 1080p
• Mizoguchi’s Oyū-sama (also in 1080p on the Blu-ray)
• Optional English subtitles on both features
• Tony Rayns video discussions of Ugetsu Monogatari [9:00] and Oyū-sama [13:00]
• Original Japanese and Spanish theatrical trailers for Ugetsu Monogatari
• Illustrated booklet featuring rare archival imagery and award-winning translations of the 18th century Ueda Akinari stories adapted in Ugetsu Monogatari
Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953
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 and won the the Venice Film Festival’s Silver Lion award (for Best Direction).
In 16th century Japan, amidst the pandemonium of civil war, potter Genjurô (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: Genjurô by the ghostly charm of Lady Wakasa (Kyô Machiko); Tôbei by the dream of military renown.
Famed for its meticulously orchestrated long takes and subtle blending of realistic period reconstruction with lyrical supernaturalism, Ugetsu Monogatari is an intensely poetic tragedy that consistently features on polls of the best films ever made. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Mizoguchi’s classic alongside the lesser known Oyū-sama [Miss Oyû] in a special Dual Format edition, with both films in 1080p HD on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world.