Rashomon is the film that won many worldwide acclaims in 1951. The playwright is written by Shinobu Hashimoto and Akira Kurosawa. The influence of Rashomon within the art house movies was tremendous at the beginning of the 50s and coincides with the trend of Japanese cinema throughout the decade. Kurosawa reflects through his masterpiece the Japanese post-war psyche and by the character of Toshiro Mifune (the bandit), the foreigners that had invaded the country. Wanting to make this film as early as 1948, Kurosawa’s project was blocked the studio’s chiefs which rejected it due to the unusual structure and high costs.
Rashomon‘s story is simple. Set in the 11th century, the story debutes with a woodcutter, Takashi Shimura, and a priest waiting for the pouring rain to stop under the half-ruined Rajoman Gate. An inquest is being held for the murder of a samurai by a bandit, arrested and brought forward to confess his crimes. From this point on the subjective flashback is used to develop and make us acquainted with different sides of the story. Unlike the usual “chambara”, the violent genre where sword fights are choreographed like ballets, the samurai and bandit are terrified of fighting, resulting in an almost comic duel in which one of them is eventually killed. Full of Japanese symbolism, Rashomon is a journey which I’m sure it will enrich you with its “poluted nature of human beings” and its neverending fight to restore the faith in humanity.
May is going to be the month of Akira Kurosawa on Classiq.