3.06 — RASHOMON and Storytelling

Our next offering of the season is Akira Kurosawa’s breakout movie, RASHOMON (1950). After some positive reviews, we spend lots of time on the particular visuals of the film — including the way in which things are seen through other things — and end with a discussion of what the last scene might mean in the context of the film as a whole.

Next Week’s Film
SEVEN SAMURAI (1954): you need to sign up for the BFI player for £4.99 after a week’s free trial, but if classic films aren’t your thing, then just cancel before the week is out: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seven-Samurai-Takashi-Shimura/dp/B00P4OHWTO/ref=sr_1_1?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1505411259&sr=1-1&keywords=seven+samurai
This Week’s Media
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017): Jon Watts, Tom Holland, Michael Keaton
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME II (2017): James Gunn, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana
M. BUTTERFLY (1993): David Henry Hwang, David Cronenberg, Jeremy Irons
MEMENTO (2000): Christopher Nolan, Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss
STREET OF SHAME (1956): Kenji Mizoguchi, Yoshiko Shibaki, Machiko Kyō
ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S (2001): Harald Zwart, Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon
This is a good primer on ‘the hero’s journey’, which Rob mentions early on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero%27s_journey. The production, music, and script on this video are terrible, but there is some useful info about the different types of camera movement! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45e1XuA-oLY There’s more on the gate in question, which lends its name to the film — as Sam discusses — here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajōmon. Here are a couple of good books on (1) the films of Kurosawa, and (2) class and aesthetics in Japan: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=vdchVqMSiDEC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=influences+on+akira+kurosawa&ots=D7Tq-c1G1f&sig=7FA76g1iigwjWS1fQXEAqlM2YA4#v=onepage&q=influences%20on%20akira%20kurosawa&f=false, and https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=10krbGkGMyoC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=class+in+japanese+history&ots=SMdOiQbPSf&sig=eAq53yCWiBvqsQE7uIJqqw_YfBQ#v=onepage&q=class%20in%20japanese%20history&f=false. Finally, here’s your regular reference to the concept of the MacGuffin, which is probably not employed in this film: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MacGuffin.