A story about desire, lust, greed, power & ultimately regrets and redemption. Manages to show how a range of different people at a time of civil war cope and how some drop into the abyss without return. Remarkable how much Mizoguchi manages to cover in 96 minutes, never shying away from the the hardships and uncertainty that comes with war. The ending will remain long in the memory, along with the haunting score.
One must see De Kooning's Woman on Lady Wasaka's ample body and allure of a primal witch..& the paradise it brings,rolling on the musk.It is a misty fantasy of many fevers,Tobei's impossible army as conflagrant as the impeccable sequence of the spirits screaming down on holy-marked Genjuro, awakening after in an empty field..(the shot of the women w/ sleeping men gazing at the off-screen war)to his son.. and a grave.
I've got very mixed feelings about what I saw (there's bits, earlier on, that I happened to have sort of slept by - it's not a very boring film, though). I didn't know what it was about beforehand, so when the fantastic elements showed up I was pleasantly surprised. but its intent I don't see myself in, which is something that, unlike with technique (which very much holds up), I can't forgive. the score is amazing.
Good technique, but the emotion is blunt as the characters feel more like vessels for themes and traits than actual humans. The stoic, distant manner that the story is told makes it feel either underdeveloped or unnatural, and the actors like cattle going through the motions. I admit that my attention waned 50-minutes in, as it didn't emotionally stir me at all by then. Art should grab one's emotion relatively quick.
Puissante et troublante fable / parabole sur l'inconsistance des biens temporels, les vicissitudes et l'horreur de la guerre, qui reste un inoubliable moment de cinéma, par l'étonnante plasticité de ses décors, une magistrale fluidité dans l'agencement des longs plans d'ensemble et par l'universalité de son message, bien au-delà du restreint et restrictif contexte historique du Japon médiéval... www.cinefiches.com
Though some shots are just perfect, it didn't hook me completely. I thought there were some similarities between the Odyssey and this film. I think Lady Wakasa was conceived and built thinking about Calypso. Conversely, Genjurô looks like a more human version of Ulysses, with a lot of weaknesses, but his journey back home is as tough as that of the hero.