Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rashomon

Flimsquish is hosting a blogathon on the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. We've been buying his films one at a time since we heard about the event and saving them up to watch during this week.

We're going to try to watch several Kurosawa films during this "Kurosawathon". I'll add links to those posts as I write them:

Sanshiro Sugato (1943)
Drunken Angel (1948)
Stray Dog (1949)
Rashomon (1950)
Ikiru (1952)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Throne of Blood (1957)
The Hidden Fortress (1958)
Yojimbo (1961)
Kagemashu (1980)
Ran (1985)
Dreams (1990)

inspired by Kurosawa:

The Magnificent Seven (1960)
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

As of 11/14/2007 the only film I have seen by this director is Rashomon, which I watched back in February.

I'm recopying that post (with a couple of edits. Well, more than a couple...) here to get a start on things:

This 1950 Japanese film tells the story of a crime from four different perspectives including those of the perpetrator and the victim. The film is available on DVD from Criterion and can also can be viewed online here (HT: GreyLodge) [but not any more] or here at the internet archive [again, no longer available] or here courtesy of google [this has also been removed]. It is currently, as of 9/3/2012, available at the internet archive at this link. I wish these links were stable.

The wikipedia entry on this movie is here. Where is the truth in these stories?

There are more recent examples of how events are interpreted differently according to the perspective of those involved. A comedic example from All in the Family:



There was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called "A Matter of Perspective" which dealt with this same issue. The episode can be viewed online in 4 parts. Part 1 is here, part 2 is here, part 3 is here and part 4 is here.

I admit to seeing both the Archie Bunker and ST:TNG episodes on tv first-run, but I had no idea then that there was a name for what they were doing.

Cinemathematics offers the stories on which Rashomon was based here ("In a Grove" by Ryƫnosuke Akutagawa) and here ("Rashomon" by Ryunosuke Akutagawa). The Listening Ear has a blogathon post on this movie. Movie Moxie also wrote about Rashomon for the blogathon.

4/11/2008: The House Next Door has a review.

11/10/2008: NPR reports that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
has launched a three-month tribute to the director, anchored by a restored version of Rashomon — Kurosawa's legendary study of truth, memory and perspective — along with rarely seen sketches in the director's own hand.

6/10/2009: Criterion Confessions has a post of Kurosawa-related art.
6/25/2010: BFI has a centennial article online.

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