UGETSU is the first film I've seen from Japanese master Kenji Mizoguchi, based on a story from 18th Century author Ueda Akinari. The film is set in the 18th century, where poor villagers are suffering at the hands of marauding samurai. Two villagers have dreams of making it rich - one as a samurai, the other as a potter. The film is largely about the cost of greed and ambition. The film incorporates some supernatural elements that may remind the viewer of later films such as Kaneto Shindo's ONIBABA and Kuroneko.
Shot in effective black & white 4:3 (as was the custom of the time), Mizoguchi proves a master of the camera and his actors. Sound and music is also used very effectively.