26 Dec 1951
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Script of the film
During shooting, the cast approached Kurosawa en masse with the script and asked him, “What does it mean?” The answer Akira Kurosawa gave at that time and also in his biography is that Rashomon (1950) is a reflection of life, and life does not always have clear meanings.
“Best Foreign Film”
Often credited as the reason the Academy created the “Best Foreign Film” category.
Camera pointing towards sun
This film is often given credit for the first time a camera was pointed directly at the sun. In Akira Kurosawa’s biography, he gives credit to his cinematographer for “inventing” it and himself for using it, but years later, during commentary that preceded the TV showing of the film, the head of the studio claimed credit. Kurosawa bitterly denied this claim.
Title of the film
The title of the film has recently been added to the Oxford English Dictionary as describing “…resembling or suggestive of the film Rashomon (1950), esp. in being characterized by multiple conflicting or differing … interpretations.”
Was chosen by Premiere magazine as one of the “100 Movies That Shook the World” in the October 1998 issue. The list ranked the most “daring movies ever made.”
Included among the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”, edited by Steven Schneider.
DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK (Akira Kurosawa)
[weather]: This movie is known for its use of symbolic weather. Throughout most of it, there’s heavy rain. The rain fades away by the optimistic ending when the weather becomes sunny.
The fight scene in the woodcuter’s version
That scene is the single most realistic swordfighting scene in all of cinema.
I agree. It’s the most realistic and intense scene of swordfighting I have ever seen.
I don’t know if it would look so lame if they were both real fighters. It’s almost like saying that this fight is what truly happened and that the initial fight isn’t. We don’t know what happened (maybe none of what anyone said happened.)
These two fighters were, at the time, both emasculated and so they put forth an emasculated fight. This is a cohesion that I always felt that Kurosawa was aiming for. I don’t know if we can say that most people would act so skittish in a sword fight. It’s all depicted within context of the story not so much within the context of what realistic sword fighting is. It’s more poetic than realistic. – just my opinion.
As someone else said in another post, each storyteller tried to cover their own insecurities in the version they told. The last man was sort of cowardly. He hid in the bushes watching the crimes unfold and stole the dagger. He couldn’t admit he lacked the courage to be honest, so what does he do to make himself look better? He paints others in a cowardly light. They were said to be bumbling and afraid. The truth is somewhere in between.
excerpt from Akira Kurosawa, Something Like an Autobiography
Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves about themselves. They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing. This script portrays such human beings—the kind who cannot survive without lies to make them feel they are better people than they really are. It even shows this sinful need for flattering falsehood going beyond the grave—even the character who dies cannot give up his lies when he speaks to the living through a medium. Egoism is a sin the human being carries with him from birth; it is the most difficult to redeem.
RT/Meta Critic Review
Not many movies make such an impact that their names enter into the language. Rashomon is such a movie.(Click here to see)