(Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1950) 83 minutes


Director: Akira Kurosawa
Producer: Jingo Minory
Screenplay: Shinobu Hashimoto, Akira Kurosawa
Based on Rashomon and In the Grove
by Ryunosuke Akutagwa
Photography: Kazuo Miyagawa
Art Direction: So Matsuyama
Music: Fumio Hayasaka
Toshiro Mifune (Tojomaru, the bandit)
Masayuki Mori (Takehiro, the samurai)
Machoko Kyo (Masago, his wife)
Takashi Shimura (The Woodcutter)
Minouri Chiaki (The Priest)
Kichijiro Ueda (The Commoner)
Daisuke Kato (The Police Agent)
Fumiko Homma (The Medium)

Reviews and notes

In medieval Japan, four people have different versions of a violent incident when a bandit attacks a nobleman in the forest. Indescribably vivid in itself, and genuinely strange (one of the versions is told by a ghost), RASHOMON reintroduced Japanese films to the world market.
- Leslie Halliwell, Halliwell's Film Guide.

In one sense, RASHOMON does present a kind of intellectual puzzle. Perhaps because the clues to the puzzle are singularly cinematic, it's solution did not appear obvious. The notion that the film was about the complete relativity of truth, i.e., that there is no truth, appeared in early English language reviews of the film. It has now achieved the status of a kind of conventional wisdom, e.g., even some people who have not seen the film will say, upon hearing the name RASHOMON, something like, "Oh! You mean the film about the relativity of truth"...

RASHOMON appears to have been closely studied and subjected to the rigorous examination that it's stature obviously warrants only by Stanley J Solomon in what remains a little known analysis, The Film Idea (1972). Many...will have already seen RASHOMON at least once and to heighten their enjoyment of the film, the major thrust of Solomon's analysis, along with the supporting detail marshalled by him, is available by clicking on the title below.
-Toronto Film Society Notes, 2 March 1981.

Weblink: The Film Idea

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