Rashomon… Like Never Before

rashomon_sp2Before Pulp Fiction, there was Rashomon.  Before The Usual Suspects, there was Rashomon.  Before Memento, before Elephant, before City of God, before Watchmen, before Lost, before pretty much any piece of cinema that effectively utilizes non-linear narrative, flashbacks, and multiple perspectives to tell its story, there was Rashomon.  Directed and co-written by the late and great joiner of Eastern and Western film, Akira Kurasawa, Rashomon weaves the tale of a purported rape and murder through the eyes of its four witnesses: the bandit, the woodcutter, the rape victim, and the dead man himself.  The accounts all contradict one another, and the audience is put in the position of impartial jury, charged with the task of piecing together the various strands of truth into a cohesive whole.

But if it’s just the story or historical time capsule you want, go rent it on Netflix.  Because Rashhomon is, aside from the narrative innovation, also a masterpiece of cinematography—it was the first film ever to shoot directly into the sun—and the only way to truly appreciate the visceral beauty is to see it in its original 35mm format.  Fortunately for us Angelenos, this is still possible and starting this Friday, October 2 at the Nuart Theatre, for one week only, Rashomon will be showing in a newly restored film-print created from the original, 1962 camera negatives.  Cleaned by hand, as well as state-of-the-art digital technology, the print contains a newly improved soundtrack and enough resolution to properly honor the supreme talent of Kurasawa’s genius collaborator/cinematographer, Kazuo Miyagawa.

Basically, whether you’re a veteran camera-op or a wannabe screenwriter, or just your average kung fu nut, you probably owe something to Rashomon, and its not often you get to see such a vastly influential example of cinematic craft in such perfect condition.  It may be twenty years from now that another opportunity like this even comes about, and by that time, you and your three friends will be so busy arguing about what happened on that one night, twenty years back, when you were supposed to all go see Rashomon at the Nuart, that none of you will even bother to notice.

The newly-restored Rashomon plays from October 2nd – October 8th at the Nuart Theatre.  For more information, please visit www.landmarktheatres.com or call (310) 281-8223.

Comments are closed Trackback

Comments are closed.