Los Angeles Times - 08/19/2002
"...Mizoguchi's masterpiece....[The film] displays the fluid camerawork for which Mizoguchi is known..."
USA Today - 03/11/1994
"...Kenji Mizoguchi's supernatural 16th-century war story became an instant classic..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2008
"UGETSU MONOGATARI intertwines two ghost stories into a shiveringly beautiful masterpiece whose pictorial accomplishment never distracts from its narrative and emotional core."
Often cited by critics as one of the greatest films ever made, Kenji Mizoguchi's UGETSU includes the director's signature theme of the women oppressed while adopting a broader philosophical perspective on human affairs. Set against the backdrop of the feudal wars of 16th-century Japan, the film stars Masayuki Mori as Genjur˘, a potter living with his wife, Miyagi (Kinuyo Tanaka), in a small village. Aware that pottery is in demand, he makes the hazardous journey to the city in the hope of profiting there. His farmer brother, Tobei (Eitar˘ Ozawa), accompanies him, eager to provide a better life for his wife, Ohama (Mitsuko Mitu), by becoming a samurai. After the success of this trip, they become even more concerned with making money. But their village is suddenly attacked, forcing the two couples to flee by boat. Genjur˘ and Tobei go to the city of Omizo to sell their undamaged pottery, leaving their families behind to ensure their safety. Mizoguchi's meditation on themes of greed, ambition, love, and betrayal seamlessly weaves realistic and fantastic elements into a tapestry of smooth, elaborately choreographed tracking shots and stately, ascending crane shots while revealing both the folly and the suffering of humanity.
In Kenji Mizoguchi's UGETSU, two Japanese peasants leave their families to seek fame and fortune.