Ugetsu

Ugetsu ★★★★★

A beautiful war torn ghost tale presented by the Cinefamily via the Greg Proops Film Club - one of my favorite nights in Los Angeles. Proops begins the night with a stream of conscienceness talk about just about everything, that usually ends up landing around the movie of the night. Funny, insightful and ridiculous. Love it.
The movie -- it’s on the top ten lists of tons of critics and I see why. Mizoguchi spends his story telling capital pulling you into the common people’s experiences in war torn Japan. It feels all the more significant today when I see the news about Syria. It follows two couples and their bonehead husbands - each ignoring their wives pleas to drastic effect. It’s beautiful, haunting, lyrical, flat out overwhelming at times. By the time the ghost arrives to seduce the businessman husband, I was caught up, believing everything that was going on.

The war and what it did to the people, the loss, the pain, the hunger - is drawn deep and wide in the ghostly girl and her haunted home. Everyone is cursed - but Mizoguchi finds a way out of the horror of war, giving hope in humanity, despite the bummer ending. Mizoguchi movies are best watched in a half full movie theater with Greg Proops as your fateful guide.