Close Up

1 December 2015: Rashômon



Japan | 1950 | 86 min | B/W | 35mm  

"The film that launched Kurosawa’s name outside his homeland (and those of its stars Toshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyo), Rashômon’s Golden Lion Award at Venice in 1951 awakened a postwar generation of international festival and arthouse audiences to the manifold pleasures of Japanese cinema. Combining two short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, its script also broke the mould of conventional cinema plotting, introducing the concept of the unreliable narrator in its contradictory accounts of the rape of a samurai’s wife as relayed by the key suspects and witnesses to the crime, including one testimony delivered from the murdered samurai himself by a medium. The masterful atmospheric cinematography of Kazuo Miyagawa, and the late-10th-century Heian period setting adds to the haunting, purgatorial ambience." – Jasper Sharp

Part of our Akira Kurosawa season