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Rashomon

Rashomon(1951)

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Trivia

  • Even during high noon the parts of the forest that the crew needed to shoot in were still too dark. Rather than use a regular foil reflector, which did not bounce enough light, Kurosawa and cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa opted to use a full-length mirror "borrowed" from Daiei's costume department. The crew bounced light from the mirror through leaves and trees to soften it and make it look more like natural sunlight. Miyagawa later called it the most successful lighting effect he had ever done.
  • In the downpour scenes showing the Rashomon Gate, Kurosawa found that the rain in the background simply wouldn't show up against the light gray backdrop. To solve this problem, the crew ended up tinting the rain by pouring black in into the tank of the rain machine.
  • This film is often given credit for the first time a camera was pointed directly at the sun. In Kurosawa's biography, he gives credit to his cinematographer for "inventing" it and himself for using it, but years later, during commentary that preceded the TV showing of the film, the head of the studio claimed credit, which Kurosawa bitterly denies.
  • The husband and wife in the film are referred to as "foreigners." The clothes they are wearing are a mix of Japanese traditional kimonos and Korean traditional clothes, also known as "hamboks", thus hinting that they come from Korea. However, the sword that the husband carries is not the type of Korean sword used in that time period, and Koreans did not follow the Japanese tradition of carrying two swords.
  • During shooting, the cast approached Kurosawa en masse with the script and asked him, "What does it mean?" The answer Kurosawa gave at that time and also in his biography is that "Rashomon" is a reflection of life, and life does not always have clear meanings.

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