“Rashomon” by A. Kurosawa and questions about man


Rain like no one has seen. In the ruins of the former city gate, the two of them found shelter. Dwal and monk. They are sitting under a roof, pouring around. The movie is black and white. The gestures and behavior of the actors, as if drawn from cartoons, symbolic, intended to reflect what they represent, far from realism. When the third visitor finds shelter there, the story begins.

Music is interesting. Blocky, surprisingly well suited to the atmosphere of the film. Let’s be honest, in places it’s a copy or a modification of Ravel’s “Bolero”.

The story of these people in the rain is about a murder that took place three days earlier and involved three people. Toshiro Mifune plays a bandit. The other two actors, who play the roles of a married couple, did not make a career to remember their names.

It turns out that each of the participants in the event told the story in a completely different way. Murdered, the husband tells it through another woman. At the end, this story is told by the woodcutter who saw it all but refused to tell the police. He preferred to be “on the side”. His version is also different from the story of the bandit, his wife and her murdered husband. There is no truth. There are points of view. People see reality as they want to see it. As it suits them. That’s all there is.

The lack of color does not bother watching the movie at all. What’s more, you can somehow see the green leaves, the colors of the kimono. The 4: 3 aspect ratio is also not a problem today. The artificiality of behavior and fight scenes is noticeable. Which, surprisingly, does not offend at all. Because the viewer knows – that’s not the point.

There is Rashomon, as if on the other side of the gulf of time, between contemporary and that cinema. Today is the opposite. Focus on the realism of the image. Everything is as it really is, the CGI effects are dazzling. It’s just that you leave with nothing, it’s all bland, because … that’s not what cinema is about, it’s not what art is about.

Finally, three in the ruins of the buildings hear the cry of a child. They find it curled, wailing. The last of the newcomers tears out an expensive kimono from under it.

– What are you doing?! the woodcutter calls out to him.

– What about you?

– It’s terrible! Terrible!

– Yes? Someone else might have taken that kimono. Why not me?

– Because it’s evil!

– Evil? What about this child’s parents? Did they do well and abandon the baby? They are the bad guys!

– You only think about yourself!

– What’s wrong with that? You have to be selfish to survive, replies the stealing kimono.

– Fuck it. They are all selfish and liars, the woodcutter, shaking with anger, gasps. – Only appearances, excuses. Bandit, woman, her husband and you! – And he pounces on the thief.

– And you do not!? the thief shouts

It turns out that the indignant woodcutter is also not without fault, because he stole a precious dagger from the crime scene and did not tell anyone about it, falsifying his version of the whole event.

– Bandit accusing others! – the thief laughs at him, slaps him and walks away with the loot.

Lonely in the pouring rain, there are a monk holding a child in his arms and a woodcutter, who also turned out to be a thief, and his story a lie.

And the question returns, what is art all about? What is the cinema about? Or what was it about, then and now …? Kurosawa is about the basics. Universal. What are people like, who are they? For their motives. For good and bad. “You have to be selfish to survive,” says the villain in his film. He says it now after 71 years. He whispers it in the minds and hearts of so many people. Perhaps these words have become too often the axis of action, the basis of behavior. Maybe they have always been? Although now, surprisingly, direct hunger or death is not a threat. And yet …

Nowadays cinema is about something less often. Big dilemmas. For the nature of man. Comic book heroes for former younger teenagers run in it. The man turns on the movie. Crushes him into his head. He has to get some impressions and be ready for further work. It’s just consumption. Sometimes … just consumption. Only it is not known whether we are the ones who consume these films or if they consume us. Could use a good video on this.

A man. It’s not just about colors, screens, accuracy. He is concerned with sense, essence, great and important things, dramas and what to do with them. This primitivism of Kurosawa’s film only emphasizes this, because the truth, the course of events, reactions and attitudes are important in it. In the final scene, the lumberjack who turns out to be a liar and a thief takes this crying child from a monk. – I have six of mine. One thing more won’t make a difference, she says and carries them home. This way Kurosawa does not want to cancel us out despite all our faults. He tries to keep “faith in man”. Can we save this faith today, with our lives and actions? Or maybe we have become … just “consumers”? This is what “Rashomon” asks us painfully today, the answer is not simple at all, and the phenomenon that everyone has “their own story” was clearly shown by the Japanese director in his film.

Musical motifs of the film. It’s worth listening to “Bolero” from 5 minutes


Photo based on a quote

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