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Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:

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The Producer’s theme for this month is: The Art of Documentary.

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May turned out to be an interesting month to find the thematic balance the producers always strive for, with the Grand Cinema launching their Documentary Month. We encourage everyone to scramble to see the fine Dramedy WHILE WE’RE YOUNG at the Grand because we are not sure how long it will be there., & on the first Friday, we’ll have the screening of a Member Pick, the incredible ground-breaking classic film RASHOMON (1950). 

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The film was directed by the titan Akira Kurosawa, who did an extensive internship as artist, editor, & assistant director in Japanese cinema from the late 1930’s. This film was considered a breakthrough as international audiences began to appreciate Japanese films, & stretch their perceptions of good foreign films to include the Asian industry. Kurosawa was voted the 6th greatest director of all time by “Entertainment Weekly”.

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He worked with actor Toshiro Mifune on 21 films, mirroring the John Ford/John Wayne relationship.

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Kurosawa said: “For me, filmmaking combines everything–painting, literature, dance, theater, & great music. That’s why I’ve made film my life’s work.”

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Kurosawa directed 33 films from 1943, many of them cinema classics now. Some of my favorites include STRAY DOG (1949), IKURU (1952), SEVEN SAMURAI (1954), THRONE OF BLOOD (1957), HIDDEN FORTRESS (1958), YOJIMBO (1961), SANJURO (1962), RED BEARD (1965), RAN (1985), & DREAMS (1990).

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A number of Kurosawa’s films were remade by other international directors, many of them as Westerns. RASHOMON was remade by director Martin Ritt as THE OUTRAGE (1964), starring Paul Newman, Laurence Harvey, & Claire Bloom.

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Kurosawa said: “RASHOMON is a reflection of life, & life does not always have clear meanings.”

From the film, Commoner: “No one will hear you, no matter how loud you shout. Just think–which of the stories do you believe?”

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RASHOMON (1950)

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Directed by Akira Kurosawa @ 88 minutes.

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The film stars Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, & Masayuki Mori.

Synopsis: This is the classic tale of a heinous crime & its aftermath, as witnesses recount differing points of view/recall. Mental health professionals have labeled this phenomenon the Rashomon Complex.

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Tagline: The husband, the wife, or the bandit?

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Rotten Tomatoes has rated this film at 100% Critic’s Approval & 93% Audience Approval.

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The film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, & was nominated for an Oscar & a Bafta Award.

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Ty Burr of THE BOSTON GLOBE wrote: “What Kurosawa & his tiny production team wrought is now an accepted maxim of modern life, a creed by which to live in a world where everyone has both a blog & an opinion.”

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In VARIETY we read: “This film caused a flurry in critical circles for its brilliance of conceptions, techniques, acting, & its theme of passion.”

So mark your calendars for this Friday, May 1, 2015, & join the Tacoma Film Club for our screening of RASHOMON (1950). It will be shown at The Center for Spiritual Living, the church building we rent for our events. It is located at 206 N. J Street, across from the Group Health hospital, on the corner of Division & J streets.

Arrive early, around 6:30 p.m., & join many of us downstairs in the kitchen area for fun, fellowship, & snacks. It is permitted to bring snacks & beverages, including wine or beer, to share with others. Be sure to clean up after your selves before going upstairs to enjoy the movie. There is no food or drink allowed in the sanctuary during the screening. There will be a Donation Box upstairs. All donated funds will go to help to pay the rent & other Club expenses. RASHOMON will screen at 7:15 p.m. & it runs 88 minutes, so the curtain will be down before 9:30 p.m. See you at the movies!

Glenn 

 

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