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Rashomon (Criterion Collection)

Toshirô Mifune , Machiko Kyô , Akira Kurosawa    Unrated   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 53.42 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description

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This 1950 film by Akira Kurosawa is more than a classic: it's a cinematic archetype that has served as a template for many a film since. (Its most direct influence was on a Western remake, The Outrage, starring Paul Newman and directed by Martin Ritt.) In essence, the facts surrounding a rape and murder are told from four different and contradictory points of view, suggesting the nature of truth is something less than absolute. The cast, headed by Kurosawa's favorite actor, Toshiro Mifune, is superb. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Mifune/Kyo/Mori ~ Rashomon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By M. B. Alcat TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I usually watch many kinds of different movies, but I wasn't a fan of old Asian movies, at least not until a friend lent me this beautiful classic, directed by Akira Kurosawa. Now I know what I was missing...

"Rashomon" (1950), shot in black and white, is nothing short of stunning. The first scenes show us a priest and a woodcutter taking refuge in an old temple, in order to escape from the heavy rain. A third man shows up, and they start talking about a recent crime that troubles them. Despite the fact that these men were at the trial in which those involved were judged, they don't have a clue regarding what happened, due to the fact that they hear very different versions of the events that took place that fateful day. Will the truth ever be found out? And is there such a thing as truth, or an objective point of view?

This is the first film by Kurosawa I have watched, but it won't be my last. Highly recommended ! And... thanks, Rubén :)

- Belen Alcat, June 2007 -
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pardon me, N8rst8rs...? April 27 2004
Format:DVD
I am definitely one who endorses the belief of "to each his own" and your opinion is just that. But you obviously know nothing ABOUT film, you just know OF it. Maybe instead of writing a stupid and misinformed review for a film that doesn't deserve it, you shouldn't write one at all. It's punks like you who knock the average rating down, discouraging others from finding this priceless piece of celluloid. Raise your head a bit, and I'm sure you'll come eye-to-eye with your lower intestine.
One of the VERY FEW legitimate marvels of filmic expression ever borne, RASHOMON needs to be viewed at least once by every single person in the world... most especially lawyers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is Truth? March 4 2004
Format:DVD
Kurosawa's study on the nature of truth, of reality, and human nature is perhaps one of the greatest films ever made. it is the story of a rape and a murder and that is all we ever know that occured during during the course of this movie. it tells the story from the perspectives of 4 sperate characters; a woodcutter, a bandit, a man, and his wife. they all have different stories and we are never told who is really telling the truth. Because this is a story about the bleakness of human nature, the evil tendencies we have. but there is redemption in the end. according to what i've been told and have read this is the first film to have a shot that's pointed directly into the sunlight and to use light reflectors to help light the actors. it also gained noteriety for its phenominal camera work. I highly recommend you buy this this is a great film toanyone who enjoys an engrossing experience.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic stuff June 23 2004
Format:DVD
A man travelling with his wife in feudal Japan is murdered by a bandit... or is he? As the main protagonists - the bandit, the wife, a passer-by and (I kid you not) the man himself - tell their versions of events, a series of contradictions emerge. Who, if anyone, is telling the truth?
Rashomon's Byzantine plot structure was unique at the time, and still feels fresh over half a century down the line. Presenting no easy answers (there is reason to doubt the motives, and thus the stories, of all of those involved), it leaves the audience to make up their own minds about who to trust. Fans of latterday head-spinning efforts such as The Usual Suspects and Memento will find plenty to get their teeth into here.
It all looks gorgeous, to boot (Kazuo Miyagawa's cinematography is done justice by an excellent DVD transfer here), and the performances - especially Toshiro Mifune, as the bandit Tajomaru, cackling hysterically and pausing mid-fight to swat mosquitoes on his neck - are superb. If I've got one gripe, it's the slightly pat "redemptive" ending, but that's a minor fault at best.
Otherwise, Rashomon is downright essential. It's too easy to get all rose-tinted when trying to assess a long-established "classic", but this is one that's more than stood the test of time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Value for money? Feb. 25 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
No doubt it is a quality piece of cinema, but; was not immediately accessible to most people. The actual Dvd quality and packaging were above reproach.
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5.0 out of 5 stars To Be Or Not To Be. March 19 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Now here's my take. in the movie the bad guy who was walking through the woods
said the only reason he wanted this woman was because there was a bright sun that
inspired his dirty deed now if the sun has to inspire you to do a bad deed then this movie
wants you to believe it's a fake and a fake it is. but hold on now that's not the only thing i saw
what was the purpose of the baby why was it not stated her purpose in the movie and why should
only one man take the baby away but did not fight over it's ownership was it the mothers baby that was raped
so if so who's the father.I have to say though the movie really makes you think about who's who in society
and the deeds they do that's why i think a lot of Judges have a hard time determining who's good and who's Bad
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lies We Tell Ourselves Jan. 12 2010
By Harrison Koehli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Rashomon, one of Kurosawa's masterpieces, is a deceptively clever and moving portrayal of human nature. You'll read many reviews and commentaries on how the film is about "the subjectivity of truth", but this couldn't be further from the truth! The film is about the human tendency to DENY the truth, which is both real and essential to the growth of the individual.

Kurosawa himself said of the film's message: "Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves about themselves. They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing. This script portrays such human beings'the kind who cannot survive without lies to make them feel they are better people than they really are."

The film makes no statement about the reality of truth, or even its attainability, but instead about our unwillingness to take an objective look at ourselves. The films characters embody the variety of responses and choices we take in life: selfish cynicism to moral despair, to true responsibility in the face of an unpleasant view of our true natures. The characters are similar in that they lie to themselves, to "save face", and to see themselves as better than they actually are. And yet they differ in their willingness to suffer the pain of a view of themselves.

It is in this willingness that the road to truth exists, and self-knowledge is the key in Kurosawa's vision. The final scene is hauntingly beautiful in its symbolism: the man who has taken the first step to self-knowledge bears the child - his own soul - into the world.

An absolute classic and highly recommended!
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