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Rashomon (1950) More at IMDbPro »Rashômon (original title)


2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007 | 2004

8 items from 2017


‘The Beguiled’ Brings Civil War to Life With Celluloid

21 June 2017 10:30 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Philippe Le Sourd didn’t have to lobby for “The Beguiled” to be shot on film. Producer Youree Henley and Sofia Coppola, writer and director of the Civil War-era thriller, set to be released June 23 by Focus Features, had chosen film over digital before the French cinematographer joined the project.

Le Sourd was pleased. “I think everything should be shot on film,” he says.

Not that there weren’t challenges. The Dp, Oscar nominated for Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster,” which he also shot on film, acknowledges the difficulty in finding the right lab and the right process for celluloid. “But to bring [‘The Beguiled’] alive on film was a good fight,” he says.

Le Sourd used an Arricam Lite camera outfitted with vintage Cooke S2 and Panavision Ultra Speed lenses to shoot the movie, which revolves around a group of young women and their headmistress at a Southern girls’ boarding school who secretly shelter a wounded Union soldier. He pull-processed the Kodak Vision3 500T 5219 stock, allowing for a tonality he says he would not have been able to capture with digital. “I was reaching for something almost like a gray light, trying to awaken the soul of the darkness that you would feel in the middle of the Civil War,” he says.

Shot on location in Louisiana, the opening sequence of the film depicts a young girl gathering mushrooms in a forest that feels foreboding even in daylight when she encounters an injured enemy soldier. “One of our references was Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon,’” Le Sourd says. “We tried to make this forest mysterious, almost like a cemetery. We go with her into the darkness of the Civil War.”

The bulk of “The Beguiled” was filmed in a plantation house that became the film’s Farnsworth Seminary. It wouldn’t have had electricity, so Le Sourd maximized the use of daylight and candles; he deployed studio lights sparingly. “I tried to use the most naturalistic approach, avoiding backlight,” he explains. “If you look at a Vermeer painting, you see that most of the light is candlelight or window light. That was my approach.”

The Dp operated the camera himself. He says he and Coppola, who won best director for the film in Cannes in May, didn’t prepare storyboards in advance of the 26-day shoot,  choosing to make up shots as they went along. “Sofia doesn’t do many takes,” says Le Sourd. “The fact that she’s not looking at a monitor — we didn’t do any playback — saved us time.”

The pair focused on capturing the emotion and body language of a cast that includes Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, so the camera was most often in a static position. “We tried to be simple and avoid any showy camera movement,” Le Sourd says. “I find sometimes the more you move the camera, the less you get the emotion.”

Related storiesWong Kar-wai to Receive 2017 Lumiere AwardNew Zealand's Scenery and Visual Effects Wizardry Pull in High-End Film ProductionShort Documentary Uses Vr to Tell Humanitarian Tale of Syrian Boy »

- Christine Champagne

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Chinese-Japanese Partnership to Complete Akira Kurosawa’s Unfinished Movies

18 May 2017 1:08 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

China’s Zhejiang Jinke Entertainment has unveiled a partnership with Kurosawa Production that will see the two companies produce unfinished or unmade titles by the late Akira Kurosawa. The first movie to be made by the pair will be the Japanese master’s unfinished “Silvering Spear.”

Jinke is a publisher of mobile applications in China, and was listed on the Shenzhen stock market in 2015. Kurosawa Production is the 58-year-old company established by Kurosawa and now operated by his grandson Ko Kurosawa.

Akira Kurosawa, the director of such classics as “Seven Samurai,” “Yojimbo” and “Rashomon,” died in 1998. His “Kagemushka” won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1980.

The deal between Jinke and Kurosawa Production was announced Thursday on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival. The agreement covers all of Kurosawa’s unfinished features, with the exception of “The Mask of the Black Death.”

Set in the Warring States period, “Silvering »

- Patrick Frater

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New to Streaming: ‘The Age of Shadows,’ ‘Tampopo,’ ‘Small Crimes,’ and More

28 April 2017 3:44 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

The Age of Shadows (Kim Jee-woon)

Eyebrows were raised when it was announced that South Korea will submit the as-yet-unreleased espionage thriller The Age of Shadows for Oscar consideration instead of Cannes hits The Handmaiden and The Wailing. Premiering out of competition at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, writer/director Jee-woon Kim’s return to Korean-language cinema after a brief stint in Hollywood with the Schwarzenegger-starrer The Last Stand »

- The Film Stage

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Walter Hill Talks ‘The Assignment’ and Making Movies in the 70s on ‘Wtf with Marc Maron’ — Listen

24 April 2017 2:12 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Legendary filmmaker Walter Hill sat down with Marc Maron recently for an episode of his acclaimed podcast “Wtf with Marc Maron,” and the two men went deep on everything from “The Assignment” to Hill’s early days as a production assistant to the state of cinema today. Before carving out his own filmmaking career, Hill worked with directors including Sam Peckinpah and Woody Allen.

Read More: Netflix to Make ‘Outlaw King’ With ‘Hell or High Water’s’ David Mackenzie and Chris Pine

Here are some snippets from Maron’s conversation with Hill.

On working on educational movies at the start of his career:

It was an offshoot of Encyclopedia Britannica movies. They used to make these 16mm films for students….I did research and I wrote part of them, but I immediately said to myself, “What the fuck am I doing? I don’t even like these movies.”

On what »

- Graham Winfrey

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Lone Wolf & Cub: the best comic book movie franchise ever?

4 April 2017 1:55 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Craig Lines Apr 5, 2017

Marvel? DC? They have their moments, but how about Shogun Assassin, and in turn, the Lone Wolf & Cub movies?

Like most western viewers, I came to the Lone Wolf & Cub series via Shogun Assassin – a recut/mash-up of the first two movies, trimmed to 90 minutes and dubbed into English by a pair of enterprising Andy Warhol acolytes. It was one of the original 'video nasties' in the UK, banned for years, so highly desirable to a kid like me. And it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was probably the goriest movie on the list.

While it may seem criminal now to butcher a pair of bona fide Japanese classics and completely change their meaning and tone, Shogun Assassin got away with it by being so vibrant and hyperactive. The inappropriate score is a joyful synthesiser meltdown and the spirited dub goes full-pelt, even if what they »

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All of the Films Joining Filmstruck’s Criterion Channel This April

29 March 2017 2:27 PM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This April will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.

To sign up for a free two-week trial here.

Monday, April 3 The Chaos of Cool: A Tribute to Seijun Suzuki

In February, cinema lost an icon of excess, Seijun Suzuki, the Japanese master who took the art of the B movie to sublime new heights with his deliriously inventive approach to narrative and visual style. This series showcases seven of the New Wave renegade’s works from his career breakthrough in the sixties: Take Aim at the Police Van (1960), an off-kilter whodunit; Youth of the Beast (1963), an explosive yakuza thriller; Gate of Flesh (1964), a pulpy social critique; Story of a Prostitute (1965), a tragic romance; Tokyo Drifter »

- Ryan Gallagher

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‘Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams’ Review (Criterion Collection)

31 January 2017 9:01 AM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Stars: Akira Terao, Martin Scorsese, Mieko Harada, Mitsuko Baisho | Written by Akira Kurosawa | Directed by Akira Kurosawa, Ishiro Honda

Made in 1990, in the twilight of his career, this is the kind of out-there movie that only an auteur of Akira Kurosawa’s status could have brought (or had financed) to fruition. He had help from some American cineaste buddies like Steven Spielberg (producing) and Martin Scorsese (lending his acting skills and a ginger wig); but the result is something steeped almost entirely in Japanese culture, its history and traditions.

Dreams is structured as a series of brief chapters, each based on one of Kurosawa’s own dreams. It’s an approach that at once seems chaotic: half-formed vignettes with no connective tissue. But at the end of its two-hour runtime, the linking themes coalesce in the mind. In short, this is a heartfelt cry about the threat of industrialisation upon rural Japanese life. »

- Rupert Harvey

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‘Moonlight’ Director Barry Jenkins Takes Home an ‘Embarassing’ Haul From The Criterion Closet — Watch

25 January 2017 9:29 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Earlier this January, Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” won Best Picture — Drama at the 74th Golden Globes after racking up widespread critical acclaim since its world premiere at Telluride last September. The film has recently racked up eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. In honor of his new film and all the recent accolade, the Criterion Collection invited Barry Jenkins to check out the famed Criterion Closet and pick out some films to take home. Watch the video below.

Read More: National Society of Film Critics Names ‘Moonlight’ Best Picture of 2016

Jenkins picks out a host of films from the closet that have special significance for him. Some of these films include the “John Cassavetes: Five Films” box set, which Jenkins describes as “foundational”; Krzysztof Kieślowski’s ten-hour long “Dekalog,” a film Jenkins once bought on Ebay because he “felt like he had to see it”; Mathieu Kassovitz’s “La Haine, »

- Vikram Murthi

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007 | 2004

8 items from 2017


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