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LGM Film Club, Part 310: Rashomon

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There’s no reason to explain Rashomon, which I watched last night for the fifth or sixth time. So let’s talk about one somewhat controversial aspect of the film–the acting. The early Kurosawa-Mifune pairings played Mifune as a feral figure, both here and in The Seven Samurai that is full of acting that seems nonsensical to western audiences. The female figure in Rashomon, played by Machiko Kyō, does some of this too. It would be one thing to say this was a uniquely Japanese style of acting–which it is–but what is fascinating about it is that it is surrounded by actors working in a western style that would fit in anywhere. I don’t know enough about Japanese theatre traditions to really understand all of this, but I have read that these performances do come from a Japanese tradition that made sense to the audiences watching this film. And that’s all that matters. Whether it seems weird to us today is a whole other question.

Anyway, always lots to talk about when discussing Kurosawa or Mifune. So let’s have at it.

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