The Groundbreaking Movie Rashômon

        Directed by Akira Kurosawa, the 1950 Japanese motion picture Rashômon allowed Japan to be recognized by the world for its entrance into the movie world. This Kurosawa film brought Japanese cinema to Western audiences and is know to be one of his masterpieces. The film is historically remembered for the assimilation overseas, and it has even made an impact on areas of study such as psychology, and the English language.

        The plot of the film deals with a rape and murder, and four different characters are called before a council to tell what had happened when they witnessed it. Of course, nobody tells the truth, and today the term "Rashômon" became a by-word for situations containing conflicting recaps of the truth. In psychology, it is called the Rashômon effect. As stated above, this film is also accredited with introducing Kurosawa and Japanese cinema to the Western world by transition at the 1951 Venice Film Festival. The film received the Golden Lion award for its innovations in many cinematographic techniques, such as reflecting sunlight into characters faces by the use of mirrors, filming where the camera is purposely pointed at the sun, and the incorporation of the "acting camera," where the camera somewhat plays a role in the story.

        The introduction of Kurosawa's Rashômon was a groundbreaking release by the Japanese. Prior to the production of this film, Japanese cinema barely influenced the Western world. Today, Japanese cinematography is considered one of the top forms of film, and is respected worldwide.

Derrick Bolhofner

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