DVD In the Woods [DVD] [Criterion Collection] (DVD 16114255),
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In the Woods [DVD] [Criterion Collection]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Akira Kurosawa's highly acclaimed film, set in feudal Japan, presents an intriguing tale of violent crime in the woods, told from the perspective of four different characters--a bandit (Toshir Mifune), a woman (Machiko Ky), her husband (Masayuki Mori), and a woodcutter (Takashi Shimura). Only two things about the incident seem to be clear--the woman was raped and her husband is now dead. However, the other elements radically differ as the four participants and/or witnesses relate their own stories (with the dead man, eerily enough, speaking through a medium). As each account is revealed, what seemed black and white turns to various hues of gray, leading to surprising--and confounding--relevations.

    A landmark of international cinema, RASHOMON won the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, bringing both Kurosawa--and Japanese film in general--to the attention of Western audiences. From the rain-soaked opening sequence to its moving conclusion, the film is a stunning examination of truth and human nature. The entire cast is pitch-perfect, with regular Kurosawa lead actors Mifune and Shimura giving typically outstanding performances. While critics and cinephiles debate over exactly how many masterpieces Kurosawa directed, RASHOMON stands as one of the revered filmmaker's indisputably brilliant motion pictures. In fact, the film's influence is so pervasive that it has inspired everything from a high profile Hollywood remake (THE OUTRAGE starring Paul Newman) to numerous tributes in movies such as COURAGE UNDER FIRE and THE USUAL SUSPECTS.

    Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film 1951

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  • Credits
    Toshir Mifune, Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Ky, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki
  • Critic Reviews
    "...What really gives the film its impact is less the multi-layered narrative than the dynamic direction and powerhouse performance from Toshiro Mifune..."
    Sight and Sound

    "A look at RASHOMON's exquisite visuals makes it apparent that Sergio Leone's westerns were inspired by more than just Akira Kurosawa's plots."
    Premiere

    5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] taut study of the subjectivity of truth....RASHOMON's intricate moves have been borrowed by a legion of Hollywood imitators, from THE USUAL SUSPECTS to VANTAGE POINT."
    Empire

    4 stars out of 5 -- "Audiences were captivated by the lyrical beauty of Kurosawa's direction and the dynamic power of his editing, zipping the narrative along with hard-edged horizontal wipes."
    Total Film

    "The wonder of RASHOMON is that while the shadowplay of truth and memory is going on, we are absorbed by what we trust is an unfolding story."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    "Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's 1950 RASHOMON has had such a profound cultural influence that there is even a psychosociological phenomenon named after it."
    Washington Post

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