Rashomon (1950), Akira Kurosawa

Philosophically profound as well as thematically challenging, Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 Rashomon touches not only on cinematic history and the confluence of Eastern and Western traditions, but also on the age-old and important matter of the nature of truth and its elusiveness.

rashomon-2Forget for a moment that this film revealed to the world one of the greatest masters of cinema, or that its title became a common term to describe contradictory interpretations of a single event. For now, just give a passing thought about truth, its nature and how elusive it really is. Kurosawa’s choice to tell lies reinforced by images that suggest the truth already elevates the movie to a different level of philosophical depth. Rashomon [Rashômon] is indeed a true masterpiece. Continue reading

Tokyo Story (1953), Yasujirô Ozu

One of the most poignant films ever made, Yasujirô Ozu’s 1953 Tokyo Story, a melancholy meditation on parent-child relations, showcases an understated indictment of conflicting intergenerational perspectives in post-war Japanese society through a deceptively simple narrative.

tokyo-story-2The many layers and contrasting perspectives – parents versus children, old against young, town or city – make this masterpiece one of the greatest films ever made. At its most superficial level, Tokyo Story [Tôkyô monogatari] is about the self-importance middle class families attach to their lives. But the film is far more thought-provoking than that.

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