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How to view "Rashomon"
Many people have written about "Rashomon" and debated the plot, what "really" happened, who was telling the truth, whether the complete truth is ever told, etc. I think it's possible to state an uncontradictory account of the actual event (which I don't want to describe in detail, as I want to avoid writing a spoiler). The thing to ask yourself, while watching the film,is this: What is the motivation of each character? Each story reveals that person's deepest fear. In the story each person tells, they are trying to protect the one thing they are most afraid of losing. Given this perspective, I find the film is actually quite understandable and makes a lot of sense. One other comment I'd like to make is that Kurosawa-san once said, "Women are not my specialty." I beg to differ! The wife's emotion is so very real, certainly just as real as the men's. I could name my favorite women characters in his other films too...but that might wander outside the scope of this review.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
50th anniversary of the film; but who was T.E. really?
This year, 2012, marks the 50th anniversary of the release of "Lawrence of Arabia." Rumor has it that this outstanding film will soon be released in Blu-ray format. What's remarkable is that so much debate continues to swirl around the topic of T. E. Lawrence's life and legacy! If you decide to watch the film, you may also be interested in learning about the real T.E. There are several websites offering in-depth information about him: look for T.E. Lawrence Studies, the T.E. Lawrence Society, and Clio Visualizing History (they have a video, by Lowell Thomas, of the real Lawrence, plus a ton of photos of him, also the real Prince Feisal). I've given the film a rating of "9" only because I think the use of make-up was a little too heavy. I realize this was the style at the time, and it's only a tiny detraction. I would give it 9.75 if I could!