April 18, 2011 10:07pm CST
I am not a big fan of a lot of Japanese stories, mainly because so many are so fatalistic and hopeless. (Do not like Ran, which is the Japanese version of King Lear. Many others are similar, though.) However, I must admit that there are exceptions and Ugetsu is one of them. Ugetsu is a bittersweet story of two couples who live in a small village and because of the bad choices of the husbands, both wives suffer in different ways. The ending does have a sweetness to it, though, which is not always there in Japanese fare. I have to say that next to Rashomon, this is my favorite Japanese film. This film has a mystical quality to it, as well. It deals with ghosts and legends as well as everyday life in old rural Japan. Are there any other folks out there familiar with this film? I would love to discuss the film with someone else who has seen it. If you have not seen it yet, your local library might have a copy or you can watch it on Netflix where it is available on instant play as well as DVD. I have to say that I really do love this film. It is directed by Kenji Mizoguchi and very tenderly portrayed.