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Rashomon (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on December 8, 2012

I’m going to keep this fairly short, since I’m pretty satisfied with the review I wrote a few years ago.  There’s so much to appreciate about Rashomon: the incredible torrential downpour at the gate, the tracking shots through the forest, the impeccable editing and cinematography, the eeriness of the medium’s voice, that shambling “battle” in the woodcutter’s story… and of course the film’s immeasurable influence, essentially inventing a new narrative style for cinema.  The storytelling technique is unquestionably masterful.

However, my feelings about it are somewhat similar to Lawrence of Arabia.  Although I definitely enjoy watching it and get a lot out of the experience, it’s a film I admire more than I love.  It isn’t close to my heart, and I have to work up some enthusiasm to watch it.  The Blu-Ray’s been sitting here for weeks… granted, I wasn’t going to watch it during Noir-vember anyway, but still, it’s over a week into December now.  I have great appreciation for how Kurosawa pulls this movie off.  But it doesn’t have a special something to endear it to me.  Not the emotional impact of Ikiru or Red Beard, not the epic grandeur of Ran, not the hard-boiled edge of High and Low or The Bad Sleep Well, not the immense entertainment value of Yojimbo or Seven Samurai, not the spellbinding weirdness of Dodes-kaden.  It’s done exceedingly well, marvelous craftsmanship and it’s a enjoyable watch.  It’s just not a film that has special meaning to me.  Rating: Very Good (88)


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