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Encyclopedia > Rashomon (film)

This page is about the 1950 film. For other uses see Rashomon Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Rashomon can refer to several things: The Rashōmon Gate (羅生門 or 羅城門 Rajōmon) is the main city gates in Heijokyō (Nara), and later Heiankyō (Kyoto), Japan. ...

羅生門
Rashomon
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Produced by Minoru Jingo
Written by Akira Kurosawa
Shinobu Hashimoto
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (short stories)
Starring Toshirō Mifune
Machiko Kyō
Masayuki Mori
Takashi Shimura
Kichijiro Ueda
Fumiko Honma
Daisuke Katō (policeman)
Music by Fumio Hayasaka
Cinematography Kazuo Miyagawa
Editing by Akira Kurosawa
Distributed by Daiei (Japan)
Release date(s) Aug 25, 1950 (Japan)
Dec 26, 1951 (USA)
Running time 88 mins
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

Rashomon (羅生門 Rashōmon?) is a 1950 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa, working in close collaboration with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa. It stars Toshirō Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Machiko Kyō, Masayuki Mori and Minoru Chiaki. The film is based on two stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa ("Rashomon" provides the setting, while "In a Grove" provides the characters and plot). Rashomon can be said to have introduced Kurosawa and Japanese cinema to Western audiences, and is considered one of his masterpieces. Kurosawa redirects here. ... Shinobu Hashimoto (橋本 忍助手 Hashimoto Shinobu) (April 18, 1918-) was a Japanese screenwriter, director, producer, and frequent collaborator with Akira Kurosawa. ... This is a Japanese name; the family name is Akutagawa RyÅ«nosuke Akutagawa ); (March 1, 1892 - July 24, 1927) was a Japanese writer active in Taisho period Japan. ... Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo. ... This article is about a Japanese actor. ... Takashi Shimura as the doomed bureaucrat Watanabe in Ikiru. ... Daisuke Katō , February 18, 1910–July 31, 1975) was a Japanese actor who appeared in over 150 films, including Akira Kurosawas Seven Samurai (as the loyal comrade Shichiroji) and Rashomon (film), Yojimbo (as the wild pig Inokichi), and Ikiru, and Hiroshi Inagakis Samurai Trilogy and Chushingura. ... Fumio Hayasaka (早坂文雄 Hayasaka Fumio August 19, 1914 - October 15, 1955) was a Japanese composer of classical music and film scores. ... Kazuo Miyagawa (宮川 一夫 February 25, 1908 - August 7, 1999) is generally recognized as having been one of the finest Japanese cinematographers. ... Kadokawa Pictures, Inc. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The year 1950 in film involved some significant events. ... This article is about motion pictures. ... Kurosawa redirects here. ... Cameraman redirects here. ... Kazuo Miyagawa (宮川 一夫 February 25, 1908 - August 7, 1999) is generally recognized as having been one of the finest Japanese cinematographers. ... Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo. ... Takashi Shimura as the doomed bureaucrat Watanabe in Ikiru. ... This article is about a Japanese actor. ... Minoru Chiaki (30 July [some sources say 28 April] 1917 - 1 November 1999) was a Japanese actor who appeared in such films as Akira Kurosawas Seven Samurai (as the good-natured samurai Heihachi) and The Hidden Fortress. ... This is a Japanese name; the family name is Akutagawa RyÅ«nosuke Akutagawa ); (March 1, 1892 - July 24, 1927) was a Japanese writer active in Taisho period Japan. ... Rashōmon (羅生門) is a short story by Akutagawa RyÅ«nosuke based on tales from the Konjaku MonogatarishÅ«. The story was first published in 1915 in Teikoku Bungaku. ... In a Grove ) is a short story by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, first appearing in the January 1922 edition of the Japanese literature monthly Shinchō. Akira Kurosawa used this story as the basis for his award-winning movie Rashōmon. ... Japanese cinema (映画; Eiga) has a history in Japan that spans more than 100 years. ...


The film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and also received an Academy Honorary Award (the Best Foreign Language Film award before 1956) at the 25th Academy Awards. The Golden Lion (it: Leone dOro) is the name of the highest prize given to a film at the Biennale Venice Film Festival. ... The Venice Film Festival ( ) is the oldest film festival in the world. ... The Academy Honorary Award is given irregularly by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to celebrate motion picture achievements that are not covered by existing Academy Awards. ... As a Special Award 1947 Shoeshine (Sciuscià) (Italy) - Societa Co-operativa Alfa Cinematografica - Paolo William Tamburella producer - Vittorio De Sica director 1948 Monsieur Vincent (France) - E. D. I. C., Union Général Cinématographique - George de la Grandiere producer - Maurice Cloche director 1949 The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette) (Italy) - Mayer - Vittorio... The 25th Academy Awards, the first televised one, honoring the best movies of 1952, was held on March 19, 1953, from the RKO Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, Calif and the NBC International Theatre, New York, N.Y. Best Motion Picture The Greatest Show on Earth Best Actor Gary Cooper, High Noon...

Contents

Synopsis

The film depicts the rape of a woman and the apparent murder of her husband through the widely differing accounts of four witnesses, including the rapist and, through a medium (Fumiko Honma), the dead man. The stories are mutually contradictory, leaving the viewer to determine which, if any, is the truth. The story unfolds in flashback as the four characters—the bandit Tajōmaru (Toshirō Mifune), the murdered samurai (Masayuki Mori), his wife (Machiko Kyō), and the nameless woodcutter (Takashi Shimura)—recount the events of one afternoon in a grove. But it is also a flashback within a flashback, because the accounts of the witnesses are being retold by a woodcutter and a priest (Minoru Chiaki) to a ribald commoner (Kichijiro Ueda) as they wait out a rainstorm in a ruined gatehouse. In literature and film, a flashback (also called analepsis) takes the narrative back in time from the point the story has reached, to recount events that happened before and give the back-story. ... Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo. ... For other uses, see Samurai (disambiguation). ... This article is about a Japanese actor. ... Takashi Shimura as the doomed bureaucrat Watanabe in Ikiru. ... Minoru Chiaki (30 July [some sources say 28 April] 1917 - 1 November 1999) was a Japanese actor who appeared in such films as Akira Kurosawas Seven Samurai (as the good-natured samurai Heihachi) and The Hidden Fortress. ...


The woodcutter

Takashi Shimura as woodcutter is sitting, Kichijiro Ueda as commoner on the left and Minoru Chiaki as priest on the right
Takashi Shimura as woodcutter is sitting, Kichijiro Ueda as commoner on the left and Minoru Chiaki as priest on the right

An unnamed Woodcutter (木樵り Kikori) claims he found the body of the victim (the samurai) three days previously while looking for wood in the forest. Upon discovering the body the woodcutter flees in a panic to search for the authorities. Takashi Shimura as the doomed bureaucrat Watanabe in Ikiru. ...


The priest

Minoru Chiaki as priest
Minoru Chiaki as priest

A traveling Buddhist priest (旅法師 Tabi Hōshi) claims that he saw the samurai and the woman the same day the murder happened. Minoru Chiaki (30 July [some sources say 28 April] 1917 - 1 November 1999) was a Japanese actor who appeared in such films as Akira Kurosawas Seven Samurai (as the good-natured samurai Heihachi) and The Hidden Fortress. ...


The bandit

Toshirō Mifune as bandit Tajōmaru
Toshirō Mifune as bandit Tajōmaru

Tajōmaru (多襄丸), a notorious brigand (盗人 nusubito), claims that he tricked the samurai to step off the mountain trail with him and look at a cache of ancient swords he discovered. In the grove he tied the samurai to a tree, then returned to fetch the woman. He planned to rape the woman, who initially tried to defend herself. When caught, she submitted in view of her husband and was "seduced" by the bandit. The woman, filled with shame, then begged him to duel to the death with her husband, to save her from the guilt and shame of having two men know her dishonor. He honorably set the samurai free so they could duel. In Tajōmaru's recollection they fought skillfully and fiercely, but in the end Tajōmaru was the victor and the woman ran away. At the end of the story, he is asked about an expensive dagger owned by the samurai's wife: he says that, in the confusion, he forgot all about it, and that it was foolish of him to leave behind such a valuable object. Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo. ...


The samurai's wife

Machiko Kyō as samurai's wife at the court
Machiko Kyō as samurai's wife at the court

The samurai's wife, claims that after she was raped by Tajōmaru, who left her to weep, she begged her husband to forgive her; he simply looked at her coldly. She then freed him and begged him to kill her so that she would be at peace. He continued to stare at her with a look of loathing. His expression ripped at her soul and she begged him to kill her, to no avail, and then she fainted with dagger in hand. She awakened to find her husband dead with the dagger in his chest. She recalls attempting to kill herself, including attempting to drown herself some time later by a nearby lake, but failed in all her efforts.


The samurai

Masayuki Mori as samurai
Masayuki Mori as samurai

Through a medium (巫女 miko), the deceased samurai, claims that after he was captured by Tajōmaru, and after the bandit raped his wife, Tajōmaru asked her to travel with him. She accepted and asked Tajōmaru to kill her husband so that she wouldn't feel the guilt of knowing two men. Tajōmaru, shocked by this request, grabbed her, and gave the samurai a choice of letting the woman go or killing her ("At this", the dead samurai recounted, "I almost forgave the bandit."). The woman fled, and Tajōmaru, after attempting to recapture her, gave up and set the samurai free. The samurai then killed himself with his own dagger. The ghost then mentions that somebody removed the dagger from his chest; upon hearing this (or more precisely, in the frame sequence after this part of the trial flashback is recounted), the woodcutter is startled, and claims that the dead man must be lying, because he was killed by a sword. This article is about a Japanese actor. ... In spirituality, a medium or spirit medium (plural mediums) is an individual who possesses the ability to receive messages from spirits (discorporate entities), or claims that he or she can channel such entities — that is, write or speak in the voice of these entities rather than in the mediums...


The woodcutter again

The woodcutter then says his earlier view was a lie, claiming he didn't want to get too much involved. He confesses he did in fact witness the rape and murder. He says that Tajōmaru raped the samurai's wife, and then begged the weeping woman to marry him. She instead said it was not for her to decide, freed her husband, then continued weeping. The samurai said that he was unwilling to die for a woman such as her, and that he would mourn the loss of his horse more than the loss of his wife. After hearing these words, Tajōmaru lost interest in the samurai's wife and began as if to leave. The samurai's wife continued to weep, more forcefully now, which prompted her husband to demand that she stop crying. Tajōmaru retorted that the samurai's remarks were "unmanly" of him since, according to Tajōmaru, "women are weak" and can't help crying. At this, the woman was provoked into an embittered rage about both her husband's reluctance to protect his wife and Tajōmaru's half-heartedness, whose passionate affection had all too soon turned into mere pity. In a fit of mad fury she spurred the men to fight for her, which she seemed to regret as soon the men actually started a pitiful fight, apparently more for the sake of keeping their face in front of each other than because of any true affection for the woman. After a pathetic struggle, Tajōmaru won the duel, more by luck than through skill, and killed the samurai as he was attempting to scamper away in the bushes. At the sight of her husband's death, the woman screamed in horror and ran from Tajōmaru who tried to approach her. Tajōmaru, unable to follow her, took the samurai's sword and left the scene limping.


Climax

At the temple, the woodcutter, priest, and commoner are interrupted from their discussion of the woodcutter's account by the sound of a crying baby. They find the baby abandoned, and the commoner takes the kimono as well as a ruby that is protection for the baby in the basket. The woodcutter reproaches the commoner for stealing from the abandoned baby, but the commoner questions him about the woman's dagger; the woodcutter does not reply and thus the commoner puts two and two together and figures out the truth: that the woodcutter, too, is a thief, having stolen the dagger used in the murder of the samurai. The commoner, smiling and snickering at his own purportedly trenchant observations, claims that all men are selfish, and all men are looking out for themselves in the end.


These deceptions and lies shake the priest's faith in the goodness of humanity. He is brought back to his senses when the woodcutter reaches for the baby in the priest's arms. After initially snapping at the woodcutter ("Are you trying to take all that he has left?") he relents when the woodcutter explains that he has six other children at home, and that the addition of one more (the baby) would not make life any more difficult. This simple revelation recasts the woodcutter's story and the subsequent theft of the dagger in a new light. The priest gives the baby to the woodcutter, saying that the woodcutter has given him reason to continue having hope in humanity. The film closes on the woodcutter, walking home with the baby. The rain has stopped and the clouds have opened revealing the sun in contrast to the beginning where it was downcast. For the philosophical concept of goodness see Goodness and value theory. ...


Awards

Blue Ribbon Awards (1951) - Best Screenplay: Akira Kurosawa and Shinobu Hashimoto The Blue Ribbon Awards are film-specific prizes awarded solely by movie critics and writers in Tokyo, Japan. ... Shinobu Hashimoto (橋本 忍助手 Hashimoto Shinobu) (April 18, 1918-) was a Japanese screenwriter, director, producer, and frequent collaborator with Akira Kurosawa. ...


Mainichi Film Concours (1951) - Best Actress: Machiko Kyô The Mainichi Film Awards are a series of annual animation awards, sponsored by Mainichi Shinbun (毎日新聞), one of the largest newspaper companies in Japan, since the end of the World War II. Following the death of pioneering animator ÅŒFUJI Noburō (大藤信郎) in 1961, Mainichi established a new ÅŒfuji Noburō Award in his... Machiko Kyo Machiko Kyō (京マチ子 Kyō Machiko) (March 25, 1924-) was a Japanese actress who worked primarily during the 1950s. ...


National Board of Review, USA (1951) - Best Director: Akira Kurosawa and Best Foreign Film: Japan The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures was founded in 1909 in New York City, just 13 years after the birth of cinema, to protest New York City Mayor George McClennans revocation of moving-picture exhibition licenses on Christmas Eve 1908. ...


Venice Film Festival (1951) - Golden Lion: Akira Kurosawa and Italian Film Critics Award: Akira Kurosawa The Venice Film Festival ( ) is the oldest film festival in the world. ... The Golden Lion (it: Leone dOro) is the name of the highest prize given to a film at the Biennale Venice Film Festival. ...


Honorary Award (1952)


25th Academy Awards, USA (1953) - Won: Academy Honorary Award, Nominated: Academy Award for Best Art Direction Black-and-White: So Matsuyama and H. Motsumoto The 25th Academy Awards, the first televised one, honoring the best movies of 1952, was held on March 19, 1953, from the RKO Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, Calif and the NBC International Theatre, New York, N.Y. Best Motion Picture The Greatest Show on Earth Best Actor Gary Cooper, High Noon... The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. ...


BAFTA Awards (1953) - Best Film from any Source: Japan The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), is a British organization that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, childrens film and television, and interactive media. ...


Directors Guild of America, USA (1953) - Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures: Akira Kurosawa Director Guild of America building on Sunset Boulevard. ...


Impact and influence

Japanese responses

Italian poster for Rashomon
Italian poster for Rashomon

The film was produced by Daiei. The head of the company didn't understand what the film was about, and the company was reluctant to support the film so they gave the director only a small budget, roughly $5,000 USD.[citation needed] However, despite their doubts, the company gave the film a two-week premiere, twice as long as usual. Image File history File links Rashomon_poster_french. ... Image File history File links Rashomon_poster_french. ... Kadokawa Pictures, Inc. ...


Most Japanese critics called the film a failure: It failed in "visualizing the style of the original stories," was "too complicated," "too monotonous," and contained "too much cursing."[citation needed] When it received positive responses in the West, Japanese critics were baffled; some decided that it was only admired there because it was "exotic", others that it succeeded because it was more "Western" than most Japanese films.


In a collection of interpretations of Rashomon, Donald Richie writes that "the confines of 'Japanese' thought could not contain the director, who thereby joined the world at large" (Richie, 80). He also quotes Kurosawa criticizing the way the "Japanese think too little of our own [Japanese] things." Donald Richie (born 1924) is an American-born author who has written a number of books about the Japanese people and Japanese cinema. ...


According to documentaries on Kurosawa and Rashomon,[citation needed] Japanese audiences were shocked at two places in the film. The first occurred when the medium speaks using the dead man's voice and words. The other shocking scene occurs when the woman begs her assailant to kill her husband and safeguard her own honor. That level of blatant self-preservation was not previously depicted in Japanese films.


Influence outside Japan

The film won a Golden Lion Award at the 1951 Venice Film Festival, and is widely credited to have introduced both Kurosawa and Japanese cinema to Western audiences. The film pioneered several cinematographic techniques, such as shooting directly into the sun and using mirrors to reflect sunlight onto the actor's faces. The film is also notable as an instance in which the camera "acts" or plays an active and important role in the story or its symbolism.[citation needed] The Golden Lion (it: Leone dOro) is the name of the highest prize given to a film at the Biennale Venice Film Festival. ... The Venice Film Festival ( ) is the oldest film festival in the world. ...


The film's concept has influenced an extensive variety of subsequent works, such as the films Vantage Point, "Virumaandi" Courage Under Fire, The Usual Suspects, One Night at McCool's, Basic and Hoodwinked, the television series Boomtown [9] and episodes of television programs such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, A Different World, CSI, My Name Is Earl, Veronica Mars, Good Times, The X-Files, Happy Days, All in the Family, Carter Country, and Farscape. An episode of Dexter's Laboratory even mimicked the wooded glen for its background. The first act of Michael John LaChiusa's musical, See What I Wanna See, is also based on the same short stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, and features a main character who goes to a theater to see Rashomon. The 1964 western movie The Outrage, which starred Paul Newman, Claire Bloom and Edward G. Robinson, was a remake of Rashomon. The movie Hero has also been compared to Rashomon. Vantage Point is a 2008 thriller film. ... Virumaandi (2004) is a Tamil action film directed by Kamal Haasan. ... Courage Under Fire is a motion picture, released in 1996, starring Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips and Matt Damon. ... The Usual Suspects is a 1995 American neo-noir film written by Christopher McQuarrie and directed by Bryan Singer. ... One Night at McCools is a 2001 dark comedy, directed by Harald Zwart and starring Matt Dillon, Michael Douglas, Paul Reiser, John Goodman, and Liv Tyler. ... Basic is a 2003 action/mystery film directed by John McTiernan. ... Hoodwinked! is an American computer-animated family comedy produced by Blue Yonder Films with Kanbar Entertainment. ... A television program (US), television programme (UK) or simply television show is a segment of programming in television broadcasting. ... Boomtown is a U.S. television action/drama series produced by NBC. Created by Graham Yost, the shows title is a nickname for its setting, Los Angeles. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... A Different World was an American television sitcom. ... My Name Is Earl is an Emmy Award-winning American sitcom created by Greg Garcia. ... This article is about the Veronica Mars television series. ... This article is about the TV series. ... The X-Files is an American Peabody and Emmy Award-winning science fiction television series created by Chris Carter, which first aired on September 10, 1993, and ended on May 19, 2002. ... For other uses, see Happy Days (disambiguation). ... All in the Family is an acclaimed American situation comedy that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971 to April 8, 1979. ... Carter Country was an American television sitcom, that ran from 1977 to 1979 on ABC. It was set in a small town in Georgia, and featured Victor French as white police chief Roy Mobey and Kene Holliday as city-bred, college-educated, African-American Sergeant Curtis Baker. ... Farscape (1999–2003) is a science fiction television series, featuring a present-day astronaut who accidentally travels through a wormhole to a distant part of the galaxy. ... Dexters Laboratory (Dexters Lab for short) is an American animated television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky. ... See What I Wanna See is a musical by Michael John LaChiusa based on several short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa: Kesa and Morito, Rashomon, In the Grove and The Dragon. An early version of the show was mounted at the Williamstown Theater Festival in the summer of 2004. ... This is a Japanese name; the family name is Akutagawa RyÅ«nosuke Akutagawa ); (March 1, 1892 - July 24, 1927) was a Japanese writer active in Taisho period Japan. ... Also Nintendo emulator: 1964 (emulator). ... Broncho Billy Anderson, from The Great Train Robbery The Western movie is one of the classic American film genres. ... The Outrage is a 1964 film that is a remake of the Japanese film Rashomon (1950). ... This article is about the American actor and race team owner. ... Claire Bloom (born Patricia Claire Blume on February 15, 1931) is a British film and stage actress. ... Edward Goldenberg Robinson (born Emanuel Goldenberg, Yiddish: עמנואל גולדנברג; December 12, 1893 – January 26, 1973) was an American stage and film actor of Romanian origin. ... Hero (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a Chinese wuxia film, directed by Zhang Yimou with music by Tan Dun. ...


In the film Inside the Edges, German filmmaker Werner Herzog said that Rashomon is the closest to "perfect" a film can get. Werner Herzog (born Werner Stipetić on September 5, 1942) is a critically and internationally acclaimed German film director, screenwriter, actor, and opera director. ...


In Taiwan, press used to refer to a case in which each party involved is having different versions of what actually took place (ex. a crime or a meeting between politicians) as "a Rashomon".


Style

Influence of silent film and modern art

Toshirō Mifune as bandit Tajōmaru is standing, Machiko Kyō as Masago is kneeling and Masayuki Mori as samurai Kanazawa-no-Takehiro is sitting in the background
Toshirō Mifune as bandit Tajōmaru is standing, Machiko Kyō as Masago is kneeling and Masayuki Mori as samurai Kanazawa-no-Takehiro is sitting in the background

Kurosawa's admiration for silent film and modern art can be seen in the film's minimalist sets. Kurosawa felt that sound cinema multiplies the complexity of a film: "Cinematic sound is never merely accompaniment, never merely what the sound machine caught while you took the scene. Real sound does not merely add to the images, it multiplies it." Regarding Rashomon, Kurosawa said, "I like silent pictures and I always have ... I wanted to restore some of this beauty. I thought of it, I remember in this way: one of techniques of modern art is simplification, and that I must therefore simplify this film."[1] A silent film is a film which has no accompanying soundtrack. ... Dejeuner sur lHerbe by Pablo Picasso At the Moulin Rouge: Two Women Waltzing by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892 The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893 I and the Village by Marc Chagall, 1911 Fountain by Marcel Duchamp, 1917 Campbells Soup Cans 1962 Synthetic polymer paint on thirty-two...


Accordingly, there are only three settings in the film: Rashōmon gate, the woods and the courtyard. The gate and the courtyard are very simply constructed and the woodland is real. This is partly due to the low budget that Kurosawa got from Daiei. However, when Kurosawa was younger, he studied and painted western paintings. His knowledge of modern art helped him balance the complication of sound films by making images simpler.[citation needed] For other meanings, see Rashomon. ... A court or courtyard is an enclosed area, often a space enclosed by a building that is open to the sky. ... Limber Pine woodland, Toiyabe Range, central Nevada Biologically, a woodland is a treed area differentiated from a forest. ...


Kurosawa's relationship with the cast

When Kurosawa shot Rashomon, the actors and the staff lived together, a system Kurosawa found beneficial. He recalls "We were a very small group and it was as though I was directing Rashomon every minute of the day and night. At times like this, you can talk everything over and get very close indeed."[2] One result of his closeness can be seen in Toshirō Mifune's performance: while the actors and Kurosawa were waiting for the set to be built, they watched a film on Africa directed by Martin and Osa Johnson. The film included shots of a lion roaming around, and Kurosawa suggested that Mifune play the bandit like a lion. As a result, Mifune gave the wild, nearly inhuman performance that can be seen in the film. Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... Martin Johnson (October 9, 1884 – January 13, 1937) and his wife Osa Johnson (née Leighty, March 14, 1894 – January 7, 1953) were adventurers from Kansas, United States. ...


Cinematography

The cinematographer, Kazuo Miyagawa, contributed an enormous amount of ideas and support. For example, in one sequence, there is a series of single close-ups of the bandit, then the wife, and then the husband, which then repeats to emphasize the triangular relationship between them. Some critics have called this a "silent film technique" because silent films use close-ups to express emotion from an actor’s facial expression.[citation needed] Cameraman redirects here. ... Kazuo Miyagawa (宮川 一夫 February 25, 1908 - August 7, 1999) is generally recognized as having been one of the finest Japanese cinematographers. ...


Use of contrasting shots is another example of techniques in Rashomon. According to Donald Richie, the length of time of the shots of the wife and of the bandit are the same when the bandit is barbarically crazy and the wife is hysterically crazy.[3]


Rashomon was the first film to shoot directly into the sun. In the shots of the actors, Kurosawa wanted to use natural light, but it was too weak; they solved the problem by using a mirror to reflect the natural light. The result is to make the strong sunlight look as though it has travelled through the branches, hitting the actors.


The rain in the film had to be tinted with black ink because camera lenses couldn’t capture rain made with pure water.


Editing

Stanley Kauffman writes in The Impact of Rashomon that Kurosawa often shot a scene with several cameras at the same time, so that he could "cut the film freely and splice together the pieces which have caught the action forcefully, as if flying from one piece to another." Despite this, he also used short shots edited together that trick the audience into seeing one shot; Richie says in his essay that "there are 407 separate shots in the body of the film ... This is more than twice the number in the usual film, and yet these shots never call attention to themselves." Stanley Kauffmann (24 April 1916 – ) is an American film critic, theater critic, and author. ...


Symbolic use of light

Rashomon

Robert Altman marvels at the use of light in the film. He compliments Kurosawa's use of "dappled" light throughout the film, which gives the characters and settings further ambiguity [4] In his essay "Rashomon", Tadao Sato suggests that the film (unusually) uses sunlight to symbolize evil and sin in the film, arguing that the wife gives in to the bandit's desires when she sees the sun. However, Keiko I. McDonald opposes Sato's idea in her essay "The Dialectic of Light and Darkness in Kurosawa’s Rashomon." McDonald says the film conventionally uses light to symbolize "good" or "reason" and darkness to symbolize "bad" or "impulse". She interprets the scene mentioned by Sato differently, pointing out that the wife gives herself to the bandit when the sun slowly fades out. McDonald also reveals that Kurosawa was waiting for a big cloud to appear over Rashomon gate to shoot the final scene in which the woodcutter takes the abandoned baby home; Kurosawa wanted to show that there might be another dark rain any time soon, even though the sky is clear at this moment. Unfortunately, the final scene appears optimistic because it was too sunny and clear to produce the effects of an overcast sky. Image File history File links Rashomon. ... Image File history File links Rashomon. ... For other persons named Robert Altman, see Robert Altman (disambiguation). ... Tadao Sato (佐藤忠男; born 1930) is a prominent Japanese film critic and film theorist. ...


Allegorical and symbolic content

Due to its emphasis on the subjectivity of truth and the uncertainty of factual accuracy, Rashomon has been read by some as an allegory of the defeat of Japan at the end of World War II. However, Akutagawa's "In a Grove" predates the film adaptation by 28 years, and any intentional postwar allegory would thus have been the result of Kurosawa's influence (based more in the framing of the tale than the events themselves). Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


James F. Davidson's article "Memory of Defeat in Japan: A Reappraisal of Rashomon" in the December 1954 issue of the Antioch Review, is an early analysis of the World War II defeat elements.[5] Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Another allegorical interpretation of the film is mentioned briefly in a 1995 article "Japan: An Ambivalent Nation, an Ambivalent Cinema" by David M. Desser [10]. Here, the film is seen as an allegory of the atomic bomb and Japanese defeat. It also briefly mentions James Goodwin's view on the influence of post-war events on the film. The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter A nuclear weapon derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fusion or fission. ...


Symbolism runs rampant throughout the film and much has been written on the subject. Miyagawa stated in an interview that the forest setting was symbolic of the mystery shrouding the actual details of the dramatic events.[citation needed] Bucking tradition, Miyagawa directly filmed the sun through the leaves of the trees, as if to show the light of truth becoming obscured. Even the commoner plays a significant symbolic role, nearly as important as the principal characters, as the representative of that cold-hearted component of all men, the one dedicated to the advancement of rational self-interest above all competing considerations. The self-congratulatory smiles and derisive snickers punctuating his frequent, self-righteous statements provide further confirmation of this.[citation needed]


Influence on philosophy

  • Rashomon plays a central role in Martin Heidegger's dialogue between a Japanese person and an inquirer. Where the inquirer praises the film early on for being a way into the 'mysterious' Japanese world, the Japanese person condemns the film for being too European and dependent on a certain objectifying realism not present in traditional Japanese noh plays.[6]
  • The political scientist Graham Allison claimed to have used Rashomon as a starting point for his magnum opus, Essence of Decision, in which he told the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis from three different theoretical viewpoints (and, as a result, the Crisis is described and explained in three entirely different ways).

Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (IPA ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... See also: Political Science Notable political scientists Kenneth Arrow - Nobel Memorial Prize winning economist who published influential paper on his widely cited Arrows Impossibility Theorem Robert Axelrod Duncan Black - Responsible for unearthing the work of many early political scientists, including Charles Dodgson Jean-Charles de Borda - 18th century mathematician... Graham T. Allison is a professor at Harvard University. ... Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis is an analysis, by political scientist Graham T. Allison, of the Cuban Missile Crisis. ... For the video game based on the possible outcomes of this event, see Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath. ... Image File history File links Broom_icon. ...

References in other works of fiction

  • The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "A Matter of Perspective" is told in a Rashomon-like style, when Commander William Riker is accused of murdering an alien scientist by causing his space station's reactor to overload and explode.
  • The last episode of season 3, of the Ken Finkleman TV series The Newsroom, entitled "Learning to Fly," is done in an anime style and alludes to the film, including 3 men in the rain at a ruined gate, each retelling their own version of events [11].
  • The 1964 movie The Outrage, starring Paul Newman, directed by Martin Ritt, transfers the Japanese setting of Rashomon to that of the Wild West.
  • The second season of Mama's Family included a 1983 episode titled "Rashomama," in which Mama is hospitalized after being knocked unconscious by a stew pot. In the episode, Naomi, Ellen, and Eunice each try to absolve themselves from responsibility for the accident by describing very different scenarios to Vint about who hit Mama with the pot. (See also below.)
Marge: 'You liked Rashomon.'
Homer: 'That's not how I remember it.'
  • A 2006 episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was also titled "Rashomama" (see above). The vehicle carrying all the evidence gathered from a murder scene is stolen from a parking lot, and the CSIs must reconstruct the crime using, for the most part, their individual recollections of what each saw at the scene. The episode turns the theme of the movie on its head by discovering the identity of the murderers, whereas the truth is never entirely certain in most other usages of this theme. The basic concept, however, is maintained by the sometimes wildly divergent viewpoints of each investigator (e.g., Nick casts a very romantic atmosphere on the surroundings, Brass focuses on the "just the facts, ma'am" view of the individual witnesses, Greg turns it into a film noir narrative with himself as the gumshoe narrator, etc.).
  • The 2008 film Vantage Point is similarly plotted; in the recent film's case, multiple points of view are provided by eight people having witnessed an assassination attempt on a U.S. President.
  • In the 1999 Jim Jarmusch film Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai the story is thrown into action when the daughter of an Italian Mafia Godfather drops a copy of the original book Rashomon to the floor, revealing herself to Ghost Dog, who had just performed a professional hit on her lover in the same room. Ghost Dog takes the book at the girl's insistence, reading it throughout the film. He returns the borrowed copy to the girl at the end of the film, seconds before he dies from bullet wounds. It is an interesting text to be included, because the girl's role as innocent bystander is called into question at the end of the film, as she may have actively influenced some of the events of the film (much like the samurai's wife in Kurosawa's film).
  • An episode of the 2006 Nicktoon Kappa Mikey, titled "Splashomon", spoofs the entire concept, where five members of the main cast each recount their version of events leading up to the theft of a tigerfish.
  • In the 1990 Ed McBain novel Vespers, the detective investigating the priest's murder mentions Rashomon each time he interviews a different witness, since he knows that each witness will tell the story differently, having themselves as the hero.
  • The 1981 Filipino film "Salome," directed by Laurice Guillen and starring Gina Alajar and Johnny Delgado, is heavily inspired by Rashomon. Written by screenwriter Ricky Lee, the story revolves around the murder of a visiting engineer from the city by a young but provocative village lass who was married to a simple but older man, set in a remote province in the Philippines. The movie progresses through the trial and eventual acquittal of Salome with three distinct versions of the murder: the "official" story told by Salome to the police, the "real" version told by Salome and her husband to her defense lawyer, and the "truth" as told by her husband in frustrated confidence to the village idiot.
  • A brief scene in "The Prisoner of Kuzcoban", an episode of The Emperor's New School, parodies the film when Kuzco questions random people to find out who is out to get him.
  • The 2000 Farscape episode 'The Ugly Truth' was told in a Rashomon-like style. After the destruction of a Placavian ship by Talyn, five of Moya's crew - Crichton, Aeryn, D'Argo, Zhaan, and Stark - who were on board Talyn at the time, are put on trial with each crew member giving a different version of events.
  • The Batman: The Animated Series episode 'P.O.V.' was told in a Rashomon-like style, with three police officers giving varying accounts of Batman's assault on the criminals they were trying to apprehend.

The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... A Matter of Perspective is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation first broadcast on February 25, 1990. ... This article is about the Star Trek character. ... Ken Finkleman (born 1946 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian television and film writer, producer and actor. ... The Newsroom is an award winning Canadian television comedy series which ran on CBC Television in the 1996-1997, 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons. ... Animé redirects here. ... This article is about the American actor and race team owner. ... Great Basin region, typical American West The Western United States has played a significant role in history and fiction. ... Mamas Family is an American television sitcom that premiered on NBC on January 22, 1983. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Dorothy Lyman as Naomi Harper. ... Ellen Harper is a fictional character in the sitcom Mamas Family. ... Eunice Harper Higgins is a fictional character in the television series, Mamas Family. ... Vinton Harper is a fictional character from the sitcom Mamas Family. ... Thirty Minutes over Tokyo is the season finale of The Simpsons tenth season, which originally aired on May 16, 1999. ... Simpsons redirects here. ... CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is a popular Alliance Atlantis/CBS police procedural television series, running since October 2000, about a team of forensic scientists. ... Nicholas Nick Stokes (born August 18, 1971) is a fictional character on the drama series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. ... James Jim Brass (born January 3, 1953) is a fictional character from the CBS Television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and portrayed by Paul Guilfoyle. ... Greg Hojem Sanders[1], (born May 5, 1975), is a fictional character featured on the US crime drama television show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. ... This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. ... A Gumshoe (also commonly called a Gum or Detective) is an investigator, either a member of a police agency or a private person. ... Vantage Point is a 2008 thriller film. ... Michael John LaChiusa (born 1962) is a musical theatre composer and lyricist best known for his unusual sounding compositions for shows in the post-modern school. ... See What I Wanna See is a musical by Michael John LaChiusa based on several short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa: Kesa and Morito, Rashomon, In the Grove and The Dragon. An early version of the show was mounted at the Williamstown Theater Festival in the summer of 2004. ... Nicktoons TV NickToons, also known as NickToons TV, is a digital cable and satellite television network. ... Kappa Mikey is an American Animated Sitcom geared toward families and is created by Larry Schwarz. ... Ed McBain may refer to: The best known pseudonym used by American author Evan Hunter A gunrunner in the 1961 western film The Comancheros Category: ... The Emperors New School is an American animated television series on Disney Channel, ABC, and Toon Disney and it does not include all of the voice actors from the original movies. ... Farscape (1999–2003) is a science fiction television series, featuring a present-day astronaut who accidentally travels through a wormhole to a distant part of the galaxy. ... The animated Batman shoots his grappling gun from a rooftop in a scene from the episode, On Leather Wings. ...

See also

  • Rashomon effect
  • The Outrage - 1964 remake
  • Kishotenketsu
  • Murray, Giles (2003). Breaking into Japanese Literature. Kodansha. ISBN 4-7700-2899-7.  A bilingual book with "Grove" & "Rashomon"
  • Hero

The Rashomon effect is the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it. ... The Outrage is a 1964 film that is a remake of the Japanese film Rashomon (1950). ... In film, a remake is a newer version of a previously released film or a newer version of the source (play, novel, story, etc. ... Kishotenketsu (起承転結) describes the structure and development of Chinese and Japanese narratives. ... Hero (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a Chinese wuxia film, directed by Zhang Yimou with music by Tan Dun. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Donald Richie, The Films of Akira Kurosawa.
  2. ^ Qtd. in Richie, Films.
  3. ^ Richie, Films.
  4. ^ Altman, Robert. "Altman Introduction to Rashomon," Criterion Collection DVD, Rashomon.
  5. ^ The article has since appeared in some subsequent Rashomon anthologies, including Focus on Rashomon [1] in 1972 and Rashomon (Rutgers Film in Print) [2] in 1987. Davidson's article is referred to in other sources, in support of various ideas. These sources include: The Fifty-Year War: Rashomon, After Life, and Japanese Film Narratives of Remembering a 2003 article by Mike Sugimoto in Japan Studies Review Volume 7 [3], Japanese Cinema: Kurosawa's Ronin by G. Sham [4], Critical Reception of Rashomon in the West by Greg M. Smith, Asian Cinema 13.2 (Fall/Winter 2002) 115-28 [5], Rashomon vs. Optimistic Rationalism Concerning the Existence of "True Facts" [6], Persistent Ambiguity and Moral Responsibility in Rashomon by Robert van Es [7] and Judgment by Film: Socio-Legal Functions of Rashomon by Orit Kamir [8].
  6. ^ Heidegger, "Aus eimen Gespräch von der Sprache. Zwischen einem Japaner und einem Fragendem", in Unterwegs zur Sprache, Neske, 1959, p. 104ss.

References

  • Davidson, James F. "Memory of Defeat in Japan: A Reappraisal of Rashomon." Rashomon. Ed. Donald Richie. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1987. 159-166.
  • Erens, Patricia. Akira Kurosawa: a guide to references and resources. Boston: G.K.Hall, 1979.
  • Kauffman, Stanley. "The Impact of Rashomon." Rashomon. Ed. Donald Richie. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1987. 173-177.
  • McDonald, Keiko I. "The Dialectic of Light and Darkness in Kurosawa's Rashomon." Rashomon. Ed. Donald Richie. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1987. 183-192.
  • Richie, Donald. "Rashomon." Rashomon. Ed. Donald Richie. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1987. 1-21.
  • Sato, Tadao. "Rashomon." Rashomon. Ed. Donald Richie. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1987. 167-172.
  • Tyler, Parker. "Rashomon as Modern Art." Rashomon. Ed. Donald Richie. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1987. 149-158.

“Rutgers” redirects here. ... Donald Richie (born 1924) is an American-born author who has written a number of books about the Japanese people and Japanese cinema. ... Berkeley Davis Irvine Los Angeles Merced Riverside San Diego Santa Barbara Santa Cruz UC Office of the President in Oakland The University of California (UC) is a public university system in the state of California. ... Tadao Sato (佐藤忠男; born 1930) is a prominent Japanese film critic and film theorist. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Rashomon (film)
  • Full movie online at Google Video (note: In July 2006, a Japanese court ruled that all movies produced prior to 1953 were to be made available into the public domain [12], but this case as proved not applicable for Akira Kurosawa's works, after a Tokyo District Court judgment on September 14 2007 : [13], [14], ou [15] ; Akira Kurosawa's movies won't be public domain until 2036)
  • Rashomon at the Internet Movie Database
  • Criterion Collection essay by Stephen Prince
  • Criterion Collection essay by Akira Kurosawa
  • Online essay on the film
  • (Japanese) Rashomon at the Japanese Movie Database
Preceded by
The Walls of Malapaga
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
1951
(Honorary Award before creation of official award)
Succeeded by
Forbidden Games
Preceded by
Justice is Done
Golden Lion winner
1951
Succeeded by
Forbidden Games
Japanese cinema (映画; Eiga) has a history in Japan that spans more than 100 years. ... Cinema of Japan This is chronological list of films produced in Japan in order. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... . ... . ... . ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Wellington Film Society - The Film Idea (6065 words)
RASHOMON is not a film about the relativity of truth, however; it is about the kinds of lies people will tell to protect their self-image, the most important possession a man believes he has.
Thus, the main body of the film is taken from 'In a Grove', Incorporated into a framework based on 'Rashomon', and structured so that the framing story and the personal versions of the rape and the death take their meaning from their juxtaposition in a newly created context.
The film's style is designed around the use of a moving camera that continually clarifies to the viewer that the angle of perception in a particular version belongs only to the speaker.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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