Perspective is often ignored by directors. Movies are stories and a story must be told by someone but most of the time in cinema we are provided a convenient, all-seeing eye into the lives and actions of characters. However, some great directors have not settled for this, experimenting and pushing film in new directions. Akira Kurosawa is one of them.
Kurosawa, with one of his many masterpieces Rashomon, explores the concept of perspective and the ambiguity of truth. Set in feudal Japan, the director uses a frame story of a woodcutter, a priest and a third man who discuss a recent trial concerning an attack that happened in the forest. The story bounces between their conversation and different versions of the attack told through the perspective of those involved: a bandit, a woman, a Samurai (speaking from the grave), and eventually the woodcutter himself.
Full of beautiful black and white imagery, stark and powerful at all times, Rashomon is another triumph of cinema that any and every person who loves movies should see at least once. It has influenced countless filmmakers and films since its release and remains a provocative story that generates ideas and conversation.
Filmbar in Phoenix, Arizona is hosting a screening of Rashomon this upcoming Wednesday, December 7th at 8:45 pm right after another screening of Jean Luc Godard’s Breathless. It’s not often we get the priviledge to see great cinema classics on the big screen. Support culture in Arizona: go see Kurosawa’s picture and enjoy a tasty beer while you talk about it afterwards.