Wednesday, 14 January 2009
The most famous Japanese movie and legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa’s best known work, Rashomon ranks among world cinema’s greatest masterpieces. Borrowed innumerable times by various directors, this was the first movie that introduced what is known as the ‘Rashomon Effect’ – contradictory/conflicting chronicling of the same incident by the various observers of the event. Set in the 11th century and employing flashbacks inside flashbacks, the movie recounts what might have transpired which led to the rape of a woman and the murder of her husband allegedly by a samurai (played with explosive unpredictability by Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune). The camera work is exemplary – who can ever forget the scene where the woodcutter (narrator) is walking into the jungle before he discovers (?) the crime scene. A horde of cameras at various angles and speeds were used to record the motion of just a single character, making this one of the most unforgettable sequences in film history. At once ominous and reflective, Rashomon is most memorable for its brilliant exploration of the thin line between ‘truth’ and ‘perception’.
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Genre: Drama/Crime Drama/Samurai Movie