Film | Event 80 – Ugetsu by Kenji Mizoguchi
We will keep using Kosmi to play movies stored locally. Audiences from mainland China are able to join without VPN. The link to the online screening will be released in WeChat group slightly before the event starts. Any web browser works; there’s no need to install applications.
Adpated from two stories in the anthology of mythical folklores authored by Ueda Akinari (1734 – 1809) during the late Edo period, Ugetsu is directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, who won the Silver Lion for directing at the Venice Film Festival in 1953 (no Golden Lion for directing was awarded that year). Mizoguchi was one of the most prominent directors during the 1950s, when Japanese film industry was at the prime of its “era of classics.”
The first story in this film, Boarding in the Cottage, delineates the soul of a deceased wife concerned with the family as well as gender roles. The second story, Serpent Promiscuity, has more to do with love and lust, alluding to structural problems ingrained in the Japanese society, where people’s desire and personality are entangled with external influences.
Besides the fact that the movie with adapted from traditional Japanese folklores, oriental twinges are also manifested in visual processing characterized by “one scene one shot,” lighting techniques reminiscent of noh (能) drama, and traditional music and garden aesthetics. Despite six decades passing, Mizoguchi’s artistic bearing is never outdated. Akira Kurosawa laments the death of Mizoguchi as the loss of a true creator of Japanese cinematics.
This event will be followed by a Zoom lecture scheduled on Saturday, April 18, at which time we will be sharing post-WWI Japanese literature.
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Featured Image Source: Flickr