I just finished the fantastic documentary Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director
(1975). I found this documentary deeply informative and fascinating. The interviewer, whose grunting affirmations are hilariously Japanese, managed to sit down and have serious, insightful, often amusing conversations with nearly ever major player in Mizoguchi's career, including Yoda and Tanaka. The picture that emerges is one of an obsessed, hard-working perfectionist, with deep desires to create meaningful art. Mizoguchi was shy and bashful in private, a intimidating taskmaster on the set, a hard drinker who could be reckless after hours (he was knifed by a hooker), and a director who fell in love with his leading lady,
but never had the courage to tell her
Documentaries like this teach us not only about the filmmakers we admire, but about the film industry and societies of the time. For Mizoguchi fans who have not yet seen it, you are in for an amazing treat. I cannot recommend this documentary enough.
It is available on youtube and on the Region 1 Criterion Collection release of Ugetsu