Jack Garner's Plan B: Akira Kurosawa's 'Rashomon'

10:34 AM, Jan 02, 2013

Masayuki Mori in "Rashomon" (1950). (http://blog.ricecracker.net/)/

As an alternative, critic Jack Garner recommends:

RASHOMON. It’s rare that a film has such an effect that an entire narrative concept adapts the title as a process. A “Rashomon effect” means to tell a story from multiple points of view. This 1950 film by Akira Kurosawa made the Japanese filmmaker a global sensation, and locked in a lifelong career. It also made its lead actor, the wonderfully robust Toshiro Mifune, a star. The film explores issues of guilt and justice, as it explores a rape from four different points of view — that of the victim, her husband, a samurai, and a woodcutter. Aspects of the incident — and our suspicions — shift. The film won a special honorary Oscar, prompting the creation of the foreign language Academy Award in the years that followed. Kurosawa continued to grow as one of the great filmmakers of the 20th century, making the likes of Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Ran. Kurosawa’s work is essential for anyone interested in the potential of film as art. Rashomon also influenced an American remake, The Outrage, starring Paul Newman.

Directors: Kurosawa.

Cast: Mifune, and Masayuki Mori.

Jack’s rating: 10.

New on DVD This week:
Cosmopolis, Being Human: Second Season, The Mudlark, Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, Little Birds, Ali Baba Goes to Town, The Fan.

Next Week:
Dredd, Archer, Frankenweenie, Midsomer Murders: Set 21, Game Change, Samsara, Smash: Season One, Red Dwarf: X, Dallas: First Season, Doctor Who: Shada, Stolen, Hit & Run, House at the End of the Street.