Analysis of Roshomon Scene and Styles

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Analysisof RoshomonScene and Styles

Analysisof RoshomonScene and Styles

Roshomonis a Japanese film that was produced in 1950. The film is acontradictory story because the main characters give self-servingexplanations of one incident (Tyler, 2012).

Meaningof Roshomon

Thefilm depicts how people in the society can have different opinions orperspectives of a given scenario or issue. People mostly adopt anopinion and decision that benefits them and furthers their interest.Roshomonhas four different accounts of murder. The bandit explains that thesamurai died after a skillful fight with Tajomaru. The wife explainsthat she saw the dead body of her husband after regainingconsciousness. The samurai perspective is communicated by a medium.He claims that he killed himself using a dagger that belonged to hiswife. The woodcutter explains that the woman provoked the two men tofight for her love. As a result, Tajomaru killed the samurai. Thepriest hearing the murder case was not impressed by humanity becauseof these selfish lies and deceptions (Taylor, 2012).

Analysisof a Scene

Theshort analysis scene starts at 9:05 (9 minutes 5 seconds) and ends at9:20 (9 minutes 20 seconds). Based on a film technique perspective,the right part of the frame is viewed as strong and masculine.However, the left part of the frame is considered as weak andfeminine. The woodcutter is at the right side of the frame. Thecamera is moved to focus on him, and then shifts focus to the leftpart of the frame. The camera shifts 1800and shows far locations behind the woodcutter.

Theshot behind the woodcutter creates suspense because the audienceremains unaware of the actions of the woodcutter at that shortduration (Akira Kurosawa info, 2016). The scene has several woodviews in addition to immediate behind the head views. Another view isa close observation of the woodcutter. The different views aim atredirecting the thinking of the audience. The audience is expected toanalyze the different views based on different perspectives. Theaudience is not aware of the actions of the woodcutter. However,clarity is ensured through the close perspective of the actions ofthe wood cutter (Akira Kurosawa info, 2016).

Thescene and techniques enhances the ability of the audience tounderstand the meaning of the film. The essay explains howindividuals in the society serve their self-interests by havingdifferent opinions or behaviors. The short scene shows thewoodcutter. He is one of the characters who have unique explanationof how the Samurai died. The left and right parts of the frame aredifferent, weak and strong respectively. This film strategy enablesthe audience to know that every issue has alternative perspectives.According to the woodcutter, weak people like the Samurai are killedby strong individuals like Tajomaru. Focusing the camera on thewoodcutter increases the attention of the audience on his decision,opinion, and behavior during the murder investigation. Suspense increated when the camera is short behind the woodcutter. The audiencebecame unaware of the activities of the character. Suspense is a keytheme in the film because the murder investigation generatescontradictory explanations.

HowFilm Techniques Enhance Meaning

Silentfilm technique is used in Roshomon. The director did not prefer thesound effects because they enhance the filming and viewingcomplexity. The real sound has the effect of multiplying film images.Silent pictures are beautiful and effective in attracting theattention of the audience. Silent pictures improve the simplificationaspect of modern art. The film is further simplified by the use ofthree venues. The settings are a courtyard, woods, and Rashomon gate.Simplification is also effective in reducing film budget because ofsimple constructions and natural woodland venue (Tylor, 2012).

Thedirector maintained a close relationship with the cast members. Theyactors and crew lived together during the filming period. Theproximity and close relationship improved communication between thedirector, actors, and staff. The cinematography of the film isperfect. Kazuo Miyagawa uses contrasting shots. The bandit and thewife are given the same shot duration. However, the bandit actsbarbarically, while the wife behaves in a hysterical manner. Somecamera shots are aimed at the sun. The director used natural light inthe film. The mirror was used in reflecting the natural light so asto improve the strength of the sunlight. The director used editingtechnique by combining several short shots (Akira Kurosawa info,2016).


AkiraKurosawa info. (2016). Rashomon: The Audience, the Truth, and theBaby. Retrieved from

Tyler,Parker. (2012). Rashomonas Modern Art. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

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