I just finished watching Rashomon and had a bit of a relevation. I don’t enjoy anime because it’s anime. I enjoy anime because it’s Japanese. Or at least, that’s the theory I’m going on for now.
Rashomon is a 1950 film from director Akira Kurosawa, probably best known in the US for Seven Samurai. Like Samurai, Rashomon is sub-titled, though its fairly light on dialog.
Its the story, basically, of a murder, as seen by four individuals (included the dead man, via a very creepy medium). Each of the four is giving testimony to an unseen judge, but none of their accounts agree, and as a typical American film viewer I was waiting to see everything tied up at the end and for The Truth to be revealed. Only it wasn’t. Just like a lot of my favorite anime titles, the viewer is left to create his own interpretation of what really happened, and what it all means.
Cinematography is by Kazuo Miyagawa, which I fear meant nothing to me until I watched some of the bonus material. But it’s really interesting. The film is in black and white (of course, like I said…1950) so Miyagawa uses light and shadow to get it texture. Lots of ‘sun through the leaves’ shots abound and… well hell, I’m just parroting the bonus features now, so I’ll shut up.
If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, try this movie. I’ve linked to it at Amazon, but Netflix carries it too. Enjoy!