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The central section of the film, a series of flashbacks and tales within tales, consists of the same events retold by the husband (speaking through a medium, from the grave), the wife, the bandit, and the woodcutter. Each tells what happened--or possibly, what should have happened. The film deals with multiple truths; Richie summarized the director's point of view in the introduction: "the world is illusion, you yourself make reality, but this reality undoes you if you submit to being limited by what you have made."
The sixth title in the Rutgers Films in Print Series and the first Japanese film, this volume brings together for the first time the full continuity script of Rashomon; an introductory essay by Donald Richie; the Akutagawa stories upon which the film is based; critical review and commentaries of the film; a filmography; and a bibliography.
Donald Richie is the author of the definitive books in English on Kurosawa and Ozu. In addition, he is coauthor of the standard English-language history of the Japanese film and author or editor of several other books on the subject. He has also served as film critic for the Japan Times and as curator of film at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
"A deeply perceptive piece of film analysis...sheds much light on the film as a kind of philosphical detective story."--Japan Times