Event Date: April 5, 2011 - 7:30pm
Location: James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall, UCLA
Join Melnitz Movies and the UCLA Center for Japanese Studies for an evening to benefit Japan in response to the recent tragedy.
Hailed by critics as one of the greatest films ever made, Kenji Mizoguchi's UGETSU is an undisputed masterpiece of Japanese cinema, revealing greater depths of meaning and emotion with each successive viewing. Mizoguchi's exquisite "gender tragedy" is set during Japan's violent 16th-century civil wars, a historical context well-suited to the director's compassionate perspective on the plight of women and the foibles of men. The story focuses on two brothers, Genjuro (Masayuki Mori) and Tobei (Sakae Ozawa), whose dreams of glory (one as a wealthy potter, the other a would-be samurai) cause them to leave their wives for the promise of success in Kyoto. Both are led astray by their blind ambitions, and their wives suffer tragic fates in their absence, as UGETSU evolves into a masterful mixture of brutal wartime realism and haunting ghost story. The way Mizoguchi weaves these elements so seamlessly together is what makes UGETSU (masterfully derived from short stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant) so challenging and yet deeply rewarding as a timeless work of art. Featuring flawless performances by some of Japan's greatest actors (including Machiko Kyo, from Kurosawa's RASHOMON), UGETSU is essential viewing for any serious lover of film.
"Kenji Mizoguchi is quite simply one of the greatest of filmmakers." - Jean-Luc Godard
"One of the greatest of all films...At the end of UGETSU, aware we have seen a fable, we also feel curiously as if we have witnessed true lives and fates." - Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
"Densely plotted but as emotionally subtle as its name (which is frequently translated as "Tales of the Pale and Silvery Moon After the Rain"), UGETSU is one of the great experiences of cinema." - Dave Kehr, THE CHICAGO READER
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Starring: Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori, Sakae Ozawa
Producer: Masaichi Nagata
Screenwriters: Akinari Ueda (original story), Matsutaro Kawaguchi and Yoshikata Yoda
Cinematographer: Kazuo Miyagawa
A Janus Films Release
In Japanese with English subtitles
35mm, 97 minutes