Today’s shot is a beautifully haunting trick shot from Japanese master Mizoguchi, who’s my third favorite Japanese director from the 50’s, after Kurosawa and Ozu. This from the lyrical ghost story and cautionary parable Ugetsu.

I love a good execution of that old trick of swapping things out when the camera momentarily pans away – kind of like the chairs in Poltergeist.  SPOILER ALERT: This use of it is to a very emotional end, in that our hero, who has ignored warnings of impending danger to his family, has left his wife and child to pursue his business ambitions.  Returning, seeing his house in ramshackles, he knows that worst has occurred.  But he gets one more reunion with them, whether they’re ghosts or a hallucination of his slipping sanity…

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