Ep. 50: Ugetsu & Cinema's Greatest Ghost Stories


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On today's show, we're rounding out the Sight and Sound Top 50 with Kenji Mizoguchi's ghost story, Ugetsu Monogatari ('53). Notable for both its stunning long takes and its condemnation of the oppressive patriarchal values of Feudal Japan, Ugetsu has become the quintessential Mizoguchi text. Flixwise co-producer, Martin Kessler, and Eclipse Viewer host, David Blakeslee, join Lady P to discuss why they think Ugetsu's haunting tale of the destructive power of masculine pride managed to surpass both Sansho the Bailiff and Life of Oharu to become the highest ranking Mizoguchi film on the Sight and Sound list.

For the second topic, the gang talks cinema's greatest ghost stories. The panelist surmise that part of Ugetsu's enduring popularity is its supernatural element. That said, not all movie specters are as haunting as Machiko Kyo's Lady Wakasa. The panel talks about what kinds of ghosts make for effective cinematic renderings (and they try to figure out why movie ghosts have a thing for pottery). Then each panelists takes a turn talking about their personal favorite spirits from the great beyond.

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