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WHAT IS TRUTH?
, April 18, 2002
This review is from: Rashomon (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
With great action and memorable characters, Akira Kurosawa's "RASHOMON" is perhaps the first and probably the best film ever to investigate the philosophy of truth and justice and the inherent conflict with our fallibly subjective attempts to be objective. Is this the first film to fully embrace relativism?
Certainly somewhat existential and post modern in its central conceit, this exceptionally absorbing drama still resonates with a timely and provocative tale of the illusive nature of so-called Truth.
Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the seemingly paradoxical complexities of human nature as four people -- all witnesses to one degree or another -- recount different versions of the story of a man's murder and the rape of his wife. Toshiro Mifune gives another commanding performance in this eloquent masterwork that secured his international stardom.
With a restored image and sound, this classic revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema to a global audience. Loaded with extras, including a video introduction by Robert Altman and a brilliant commentary by Japanese film historian Donald Richie. Excerpts are also included from "The World of Kazuo Miyagawa," a documentary about Rashomon's incredible cinematographer.
Even in the pantheon of our greatest filmmakers, Kurosawa stands apart as an intellectual and an artist. His best films have a shimmering beauty and a visceral impact while also engaging the mind. A rare feat. This 1950 masterpiece is an essential element of any serious digital library.
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