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19 Rashomon 
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Post 19 Rashomon
see james review


Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:34 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1478
Post Re: 19 Rashomon 1950
The Outrage(1964), a remake of Rashomon, airs Monday on TCM.

Paul Newman is pretty over the top as a Mexican bandit. Also stars Edward G Robinson, Laurence Harvey & William Shatner. Its not bad.


Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:07 pm
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Post Re: 19 Rashomon 1950
I was persuaded/convinced by Rob and others to look into these films.

I started with Rashomon. I watched this film last week. Watched it this week with the commentary...and man, really is a great show. I'm still thinking about it.

One of my problems though is that I am a terrible writer. How do I describe what I was thinking through that film? How do I describe what I am still mulling about the film? How do I describe the images, the light and dark, the camera work, the acting...? I sit here and think, "This film was made in 1950...wow. Such great cinematography and storytelling...wait...how many films this old have I seen. There's probably older films than this with as much punch. Am I that naive?"

All I can really say is that I am still thinking about Rashomon.

What is the significance of the film's setting at Rashomon gate? Honor plays a huge role in this film......or does it? Are females really that conniving?


On to my next film...Chinatown.


Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:42 am
Post Re: 19 Rashomon 1950
ram1312 wrote:
I was persuaded/convinced by Rob and others to look into these films.

I started with Rashomon. I watched this film last week. Watched it this week with the commentary...and man, really is a great show. I'm still thinking about it.

One of my problems though is that I am a terrible writer. How do I describe what I was thinking through that film? How do I describe what I am still mulling about the film? How do I describe the images, the light and dark, the camera work, the acting...? I sit here and think, "This film was made in 1950...wow. Such great cinematography and storytelling...wait...how many films this old have I seen. There's probably older films than this with as much punch. Am I that naive?"

All I can really say is that I am still thinking about Rashomon.

What is the significance of the film's setting at Rashomon gate? Honor plays a huge role in this film......or does it? Are females really that conniving?


On to my next film...Chinatown.


That's not true, man. You write well and I like how you totally describe what you wanted to say by saying that you can't say it.

How'd you like Mifune as the bandit? I think highly of him, but occasionally I think he's too over the top. This is one such occasion. I know he's a wild bandit and all, but I guess I would have liked it more if he was slightly less feral.

Have fun exploring some of the "Great Films". They tend to stay with you for days, even if you don't like them (which is bound to happen. It's unlikely that you'll love them all).


Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:15 am
Post Re: 19 Rashomon 1950
ed_metal_head wrote:
That's not true, man. You write well and I like how you totally describe what you wanted to say by saying that you can't say it.

How'd you like Mifune as the bandit? I think highly of him, but occasionally I think he's too over the top. This is one such occasion. I know he's a wild bandit and all, but I guess I would have liked it more if he was slightly less feral.

Have fun exploring some of the "Great Films". They tend to stay with you for days, even if you don't like them (which is bound to happen. It's unlikely that you'll love them all).


Thanks for that ed.

My first impression of Mifune in this film was, yeah, this guy is overdoing it here. It was the very first scene we see him in where he is speaking at the courtyard where he kind of flips out a little. Then he gets into his story talking about he seduced the woman and killed the samurai although the samurai was a great fighter. I got the whole impression that he was talking himself up...to maintain his reputation.

I mean, he is known as a notorious and hardcore bandit and yet here he is arrested. He needs to maintain that rep. I think he was over the top on purpose during that first scene.

If you notice, his character sort of changes through the other accounts told. It seems to me that these other people (the woman, the samurai, and the woodcutter) don't see him that way, based on what they "saw."

I don't know...just some thoughts.


Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:56 pm
Post Re: 19 Rashomon 1950
ram1312 wrote:
I mean, he is known as a notorious and hardcore bandit and yet here he is arrested. He needs to maintain that rep. I think he was over the top on purpose during that first scene.


Excellent point, I hadn't thought of this. I'll give Mifune a pass for this film, but I still think that he occasionally overdoes it. For comparison, I think he's similar to Al Pacino. Both are fine actors (though I'd rate Pacino higher) with a propensity for 'volcanic' acting.


Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:32 pm
Post Re: 19 Rashomon 1950
A few words about #33 on my own (much smaller) list:

'Rashomon' has aged about by the year 2009 as well I expect Christopher Nolan's films to age decades down the line. The film doesn't use sensationalism or cheap shortcuts to make it's point, but instead relies on it's muscular direction and the intensity of the portrayals to create a film that is truly mesmerizing. Kurosawa's mastery of film is evident in every frame, and the scene where the woodcutter discovers the body is perhaps one of the best sequences in any film that I can recall. It achieves a hypnotic effect, and it strikes me exactly the same way each time I see it.

I think the principals are all amazing - I thought it was particularly impressive how Kurosawa got me to grieve for, relate to, and even resent a character as mundane as the husband. Where a lesser film would make a facile criticism of the man, Kurosawa postulates numerous, equally compelling alternatives and never truly lets he audience decide on any one conclusion with leisure. It's these details which can make or break a film for me, and here Kurosawa creates a very consistent (by the film's logic) equilibrium, which is very necessary to establish if we're going to take the plot seriously and devote our time to it. Kurosawa's avoidance of cliche to lessen his workload is impressive, and as far as his career is concerned, unerring (watch the equally dazzling 'Ikiru' for a great example of a character who is expanded 300% of the distance Hollywood studios would likely ever accord him). I agree that Toshiro Mifune is excessive in the part of the bandit; I do not consider it a hindrance. I think that Mifune's character is much like Pacino's Tony Montana (I'm drawing somewhat from Ebert's review of Pacino's performance for this point); he is, above all, a performance artist who must sell his every move to excel at his lifestyle. His bravado perhaps even provides a tickling ambiguity to his story, which I think serves the film's intentions tremendously; even if his story is per chance mostly true, what elements of that might he have manipulated?


Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:19 pm
Post Re: 19 Rashomon 1950
Evenflow8112 wrote:
I think the principals are all amazing - I thought it was particularly impressive how Kurosawa got me to grieve for, relate to, and even resent a character as mundane as the husband. Where a lesser film would make a facile criticism of the man, Kurosawa postulates numerous, equally compelling alternatives and never truly lets he audience decide on any one conclusion with leisure. It's these details which can make or break a film for me, and here Kurosawa creates a very consistent (by the film's logic) equilibrium, which is very necessary to establish if we're going to take the plot seriously and devote our time to it.


Although I was nodding my head yes to your entire statement, this was the one point where I was the most adamant about to the point I said "YES!!!," out loud.

Thank you for that. What I cannot put in words, you did.

These Great Movies...I'm figuring out, stick to the mind... and it's really difficult for me to put into words what makes them do so. I'm grateful for others that are better with words than I am.

What a kiss ass...right?


Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:30 am
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