Rashomon (1950) Movie Review: Yeah, there's a reason we name things after other things

by Banned Library in

In case you do not know, here's what the rashomon effect is: You have a story told from different points of view. Often this illustrates the subjective nature of not only the human experience but of the human mind. We perceive events in different ways, are often the heroes of our own stories. It's named after Rashomon, a classic movie that kicks all the ass.

    While waiting for the rain to stop, a priest and a woodcutter tell a fellow traveler the story of a murder trial they just witnessed. A samurai and his wife were traveling, seen by the priest, and the samurai was murdered. The woodcutter found the body, so he and the priest testified at the trial. The trial included testimonies of a thief, the samurai's wife, and a medium channeling the dead samurai. Each time the crime is told, the story comes out differently and each player's part shifts from heroic to villainy.

    Man, what the hell? Okay, the movie is older, so the sweeping shots and camera trickery are not really in effect. The actors are over the top, acting with larger than life motions in Japanese. Still, STILL, it kicks the crap out of most dramas produced today.

    The level of complexity and thought in the simple story telling is just brilliant. The conceptual nature of the story being told (while being a story being told) boggles the mind in only a way the best short stories can. That it's watchable and interesting is just cake.

    I can't recommend this to everyone, because some babies out there can't read their movies. The story is slow, so anyone raised on MTV might find themselves falling asleep. For those of you interested in well told stories, though, check it out.