Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Last night I watched Kenji Mizoguchi's UGETSU MONOGATARI which turned out to be very worthy of its reputation. I wouldn't go as far as to put it among my favourite films of all time but I can see why some might. Based on classic Japanese ghost stories the film is very beautiful and superbly acted. It is one to seek out if you have not seen it so although it is an old film I don't want to spoil the plot - particularly the end. If you need to know you can read David Thomson's review in his book HAVE YOU SEEN? It seems that Mizoguchi, a master of his art, was unhappy with the ending and the way the studio "softened" the climax. For once I agree with Thomson that here is an example of the studio being right and the director wrong. The end is incredibly beautiful and very touching. I will warn you, however, that Thomson obviously had not seen the film for many years and totally misremembers a very important element of that ending. Rating *****

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