Friday, July 17, 2009

"Rashomon 4K" like a "pane of glass into the world of the film"

by Chris MaGee

We've been following the digital restoration of Akira Kurosawa's groundbreaking 1950 film "Rashomon" for quite some time now (read our full coverage here. Unlike here in North America very few films have gotten a digitial restoration, only three others in fact - Kenji Mizoguchi's "Shin heike monogatari (The Taira Clan)", Keisuke Kinoshita's "Twenty-four Eyes" and Yoshitaro Nomura's "Castle of Sand" - but it's a bit of a no brainer that of all Japanese films that "Rashomon" would get this very special treatment. It was the film that many cinema historians have dubbed "the film that introduced the world to Japanese film" after all.

"Rashomon 4K", as this new digital restoration has been nicknamed, has only been screened a few times since it was completed last year. It screened Tokyo last October and just recently it was featured at the 6th Annual Skip City International D-Cinema Festival in Kawaguchi City, Saitama. Japanese film industry insider and fellow blogger Jason Gray was lucky enough to be in the audience for this screening and his reaction was that watching this newly restored "Rashomon" was "like looking through a giant pane of glass into the world of the film." I greatly respect Jason's opinion so when he goes on about "Every tear that rolls down Kyô Machiko's cheeks, every drop of sweat on Mifune's brow and every whisker on Shimura Takashi's chin," I sit up and listen, and you should too.

To get a full report on the splendor of this new digital print of one of the most important films in cinema history visit Jason Gray's blog here.

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