“Men are only men. They can’t tell the truth—not even to each other.”

“We all want to forget something, so we tell stories. It’s easier that way.”

Commoner (Kichijirô Ueda ) from Rashomon, 1950, directed by Akira Kurosawa, 50 Greatest Films – British Film Insitute.

The word “Rashomon” has become a byword for any situation in which the truth of an event is difficult to verify due to the conflicting accounts of different witnesses.

  That’s what art is. It penetrates your intellect and mind… you’re reacting from your own persona on it. And that’s what gives it the power.”

Director Robert Altman on Rashomon for Criterion

“When one sees a film…you see very specific things. You see a tree, you see a sword… you take that… as truth.

But in this film you take as truth and then you find out that it is not necessarily true. And you see these various versions of the episode that has taken place that these people are talking about. You’re never told which is true and which isn’t true which leads you to the proper conclusion that it is all true and none of it’s true.

So it becomes a poem and it cracks this visual thing we have in our mind that if we see it it must be a fact.”

“There’s one fact that takes place in all of them and that’s the death of this one man…. it certainly changed my perception of what is possible in film and what is desirable. You just have to be able to let the audience come to that conclusion – ‘oh that isn’t what happened’.

Everybody you talk to – make them sit down and see the film – you would not get the same answers from anybody. ” Which is the art of art. That’s what art is. It penetrates your intellect and mind, and your experience and history has to react on this new information. But you’re reacting from your own persona on it. And that’s what gives it the power.”

“During the trial we don’t see the  interrogator –  it’s as if the interrogator is the audience – the interrogator is you. So now you decide the truth”

— Douglas

“Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves about themselves.

They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing. This script portrays such human beings — the kind who cannot survive without lies to make them feel they are better people than they really are. It even shows this sinful need for flattering falsehood going beyond the grave — even the character who dies cannot give up his lies when he speaks to the living through a medium.”

– Akira Kurosawa regarding his film Rashomon

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