Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rashomon



Source: Google Video

Although it was not his first movie, Rashomon (1950) was the movie which brought Akira Kurosawa critical acclaim. Based on an amalgam of two short stories by Ry√Ľnosoke Akutagawa, Rashomon depicts the interpretations of various characters concerning the events surrounding the murder of a samurai. In each case, the account conflict with one another, raising questioning the possibility of ever knowing the truth. While filming, several of the cast members, perplexed by the explicit relativism of the script, ask Kurosawa, “What does it mean?” Kurosawa replied that the film reflects life, and life does not always have clear meaning. This expression of subjectivity in Rashomon has influenced scholars from Martin Heidegger to Karl Herder.


Resources:

In the Library:
  • Akutagawa, Ryūnosuke. 1952. Rashomon, and other stories. New York: Liveright Pub. Corp.[link: WorldCat]
  • Kurosawa, Hisao, Mike Y. Inoue, Akira Kurosawa, Akira Terao, Mitsuko Baishō, Toshie Negishi, Mieko Harada, et al. 2003. Akira Kurosawa's dreams. [DVD] Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video. [link: WorldCat]
  • Kurosawa, Akira, Serge Silberman, Masato Hara, Tatsuya Nakadai, and William Shakespeare. 1997. Ran. [VHS] World class cinema collection. New York: Fox Lorber Home Video.[link: WorldCat]
  • Kurosawa, Akira. 1985. Ikiru (To live). [VHS] Los Angeles, Calif: Media Home Entertainment. [link: WorldCat]
  • Prince, Stephen. 1991. The warrior's camera: the cinema of Akira Kurosawa. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. [link: WorldCat]
  • Richie, Donald. 1965. The films of Akira Kurosawa. Berkeley: University of California Press. [link:WorldCat]

  • Boyd, David. 1987. "RASHOMON FROM AKUTAGAWA TO KUROSAWA." Literature Film Quarterly 15, no. 3: 155. Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost. [link: EbscoHost]
  • Karl G. Heider. 1988. “The Rashomon Effect: When Ethnographers Disagree,” American Anthropologist 90, no. 1, New Series (March 1988): 73-81. http://www.jstor.org/stable/678455. [link: JSTOR]
  • Medine, David. 1992. "Law and Kurosawa's Rashomon." Literature Film Quarterly 20, no. 1: 55. Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost. [link: EbscoHost]

On the Web:
  • Ebert, Roger. “Rashomon.” Chicago Sun-Times (May 26 2002). (review)