Ugetsu ★★★★★

My first Mizoguchi experience was one of bewitching beauty and thought-provoking themes.
The story of two unfortunate couples where the husbands run off to chase their dreams unwittingly squandering the lives of their wives and eventually themselves falling prey to the fantasies they aspired to, it unfolds at a dreamy pace on a canvas of remarkable magnificence which comes from its lovely cinematography.

The camera movements which suggest an unravelling Japanese scroll painting through Mizoguchi's delectable and fluent frames add a unique flavor to his storytelling. This was seriously some of the best camerawork I've seen in a black and white film.
From the infinitely alluring lake scene to the seamlessly fluid bathing scene, the film was littered with enchanting and inventive shots.

Matching the technical wizardry is the bleak story which graduates from a tale of misguided ambition to a haunting nightmare that leaves you spooked and satisfied at the same time. While the ghostly figure of Lady Wakasa was an obvious and irresistible apparition that became the highlight of the story, what came after was a purely unexpected and mystifying twist that had me delightfully exhilarated.

This is a timeless Japanese fable which can never cease to amaze its audience. Mizoguchi's simple magic and profound art are beyond all magnificence and above all modesty.

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