The Movie ' In A Grove ' By Akira Kurosawa

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Rashomon was released in 1950, and is the work of esteemed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Rashomon was only the second film directed by Kurosawa, but it is by far his most popular and influential piece of work. Kurosawa worked closely with cinematographer Kazup Miyagawa to create this film, which was based on Ryunosuke Akytagawa’s short story “In a Grove”. The film was the first of its kind to create a plot device that is now commonly used, and referred to as the “Rashomon Effect”. The film tells the story of one terrible rape and murder through the eyes and perspectives of four different characters. All four characters have their own account for what they saw in the woods, and all stories contradict one another in a way that prevents viewers from truly knowing what happened in the woods. When Rashomon won the top prize at the 1950 Venice Film Festival it “legitimized Japanese films as viable commercial entities in foreign markets, and established, once and for all, that the country’s austere approach to storytelling could be understood by viewers in the West” (Tatara). This film was a breakthrough for Japanese cinema, as well as Kurosawa’s directing career. The story begins with a samurai and his wife travelling through Japan, the woman on horseback and her husband walking alongside of her. They encounter a known bandit named Tajomaru, who is known for violence and lust. What happens next is recounted via a conversation between three men; a woodcutter, a priest, and a

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