Of course, Mizoguchi is the director i revere most, so i'm delighted by the praise for him here. Yes, the spatial explorations (on different planes) in Story of the Late Chrysanthemums are astounding, and Alex Jacoby, who's done a brilliant article on him in Senses of Cinema, has just pointed out to me its aural originality, too. It is a work of genius from the supreme master of camerawork, composition and visual beauty. Sansho the Bailiff is exquisite and moving beyond words. Even Loyal 47 Ronin, which is rather less emotionally involving than most, slightly ponderous at times and overlong, is a monumental work of stupendous audacity. It goes beyond normal narrative conventions, indifferent to showing action in the Western manner. Kurosawa (who admired him above other Japanese directors) saw it a weakness on Mizoguchi's part in not showing the decisive revenge attack, but for me, it was only another sign of his wisdom and humanity to focus instead on the women's reaction to the news. I only regret i've not seen a weak film by him; a pity so many have been lost.
Ozu films like Late Spring and Tokyo Story are sublime masterpieces, too. Kurosawa is rightly famed for his action and editing, and to promote Mizoguchi's more subtle greatness is not to diminish his achievements, simply to rectify terrible neglect. Japanese cinema has something for all tastes; so homage to all three!