Monday, February 15, 2010

#52 Rashômon: I don't mind a lie if it's interesting.

1950. dir. Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura. Japanese with subtitles.

Seen it before? No.

A woman has been raped, and a samurai has been stabbed to death. What exactly happened, and who was responsible? You're not going to find out, because there are four conflicting accounts of the incident from four unreliable narrators:
  • The bandit (Toshirô Mifune) who is insane and laughs a lot,
  • The woman (Machiko Kyô), who is also sort of nuts,
  • The samurai (Masayuki Mori), who narrates his account from beyond the grave via a medium, and
  • Some guy (Takashi Shimura), who was hiding in the bushes.
I liked the idea of this movie. As for the actual execution of it, I don't know. I don't think the characters were well-defined enough, and all of the performances were over the top. Overall... meh. Hasn't aged well.

Position on the list: 86
Sitcoms that based an episode on this movie: Perfect Strangers, Diff'rent Strokes, Frasier, M*A*S*H, Coupling, Happy Days, Mama's Family, and I'm sure countless others

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