When cinema predicts the future…

A friend send me an email reminding me one of  Akira Kurosawa‘s movies, called Dreams (1990). You may want to see the exempt from the movie. It is called Mount Fuji in Red.

Rashomon (1950)

Rashomon of Akira Kurosawa is a film that might have been filmed today. Its story is everlasting and it will be that way as long as humans remain in essence the same. Alas, that means at least, for a very long time!

The spirit of the movie represents the Rashomon effect, i.e. “the effect of the subjectivity of perception  on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it”.

The movie opens in an impressive and depressing way, with heavy rain falling on a ruined pagoda, distorting the lines of objects in the scenery. Two people, narrate to a third one a story as viewed by three different individuals that were its main actors. Their views of what happened are however so different that bewilders the narrators which struggle to understand the reason behind these differences as well as, to figure out what really happened.

The characters of the play, are filmed sometimes from a distance, to denote the human being’s insignificance against the magnitude and beauty of nature (the whole, as for example a view of the pagoda’s roof with the rain falling down) and sometimes in close-ups, as if to focus on each individual’s perspective (as with the ax carried by the person which found the body of the killed husband on his way in the woods).

Although, for western people, it is sometimes difficult to grasp emotions and expressions of Japanese actors, the film leaves no room for such misunderstanding. The music, dresses each scene according to the narrating character but is absent when the true story is told.

There are so many issues the film addresses in such a short time: the fact that the whole story took place because a wind blew at a certain point, the position of the woman in the Japanese society, which at the end, its desperation drives her to dictate the fate of everybody, the fear of the individual who knows the truth to reveal it because of the possibility of getting himself blamed (for what really?). Above all however, is the way that the values of each character act as a distorting lens of reality on recollection and the truth about the human nature: insupportable brutality on one hand and divine kindness on the other.

A MUST see. My rating: 10/10

PS. if time allows, I’ll compile some hidden remarks on the plot, to be seen after you’ve seen the film.