Ugetsu ★★★★★

I could gush all day about this film. I could talk of the aerial shots of Kutsuki manor, the gnarled branches in the foreground reflecting the ensnaring presence that haunts the castle. I could talk of the lakeside fog, at once eerie, at once evocative of its travelers' myopia and misgivings. I could talk of the fluidity with which Mizoguchi inserts the preternatural into his world, done so adeptly that even the viewer is uncertain of what is real and what is illusive. And I could talk of his envisioning of war as corrosion -- a venomous agent that pits love, simplicity, and family against the rapacity for wealth and glory. Beautiful, singular, incisive filmmaking.

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