Blu-ray, DVD Release: Ugetsu

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 6, 2017
Price: DVD $22.99, Blu-ray $24.05
Studio: Criterion

Having refined his craft in the silent era, Kenji Mizoguchi (Sansho the Bailiff) was an elder statesman of Japanese cinema-fiercely revered by Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai) and other younger directors-by the time he made the 1953 supernatural fantasy-filled war drama Ugetsu.

And with this exquisite ghost story, a fatalistic wartime tragedy derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, Mizoguchi created a touchstone of his art, his long takes and sweeping camera guiding the viewer through a delirious narrative about two villagers whose pursuit of fame and fortune leads them far astray from their loyal wives.

Moving between the terrestrial and the otherworldly, Ugetsu reveals essential truths about the ravages of war, the plight of women, and the pride of men.

Presented in Japanese with English subtitles, Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of Ugetsu include the following:

* New 4K digital restoration undertaken by The Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Audio commentary by filmmaker, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
* Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975), a 150-minute documentary by Kaneto Shindo
* Two Worlds Intertwined, a 2005 appreciation of Ugetsu by filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda
* Process and Production, a 2005 interview with Tokuzo Tanaka, first assistant director on Ugetsu
* Interview from 1992 with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa
* Trailers
* An essay by film critic Phillip Lopate (Blu-ray and DVD) and three short stories that influenced Mizoguchi in making the film (Blu-ray only)

Buy or Rent Ugetsu

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.