Movie #119 Roshomon
(1950, Japan, d. Akira Kurosawa)
I watched this film in the context of my new course at USC: History of International Cinema II, which screened this film as an introduction to art cinema. Therefore, my perspective of the film was oriented to that train of thought. But had I not heard anything about the film, this Kurosawa gem would still have amazed me. It’s about the innate selfishness in every human that leads to their inability to be trusted. It tells the story of a farmer who must uncover the truth from three various accounts of the same event. It’s provocative and though very minimalistic in design (the film only has three locations), will hold you in absolute suspense. Spurring an artistic and cultural phenomenon, Roshomon‘s formal techniques of filmmaking (i.e. “triangle” framing of shots) is something to noteThough I did not expect the actual events to be discovered, Kurosawa’s very close account of the actual events near the end of the piece provide a solid climax to the film though it is nothing close to effect of the ambiguity of the message.