What is reality, anyway? (Lily Tomlin once called it "a collective hunch.")
That question is explored through the aftermath of a violent crime in Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Rashomon, screening on Sunday, October 14, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch as part of the Movies That Matter film series.
Introductory and closing remarks are provided by Robert W. Butler, for more than 40 years film critic of The Kansas City Star and now a member of the Library's public affairs staff.
Rashomon, the first Japanese film to gain widespread acceptance in the West, is set in feudal Japan. A samurai has been murdered and his wife raped. But during the trial of the perpetrator we hear four wildy contradictory reports of what happened.
The fragile wife says one thing, the preening criminal (Toshiro Mifune in the role that made him an international star) another. The ghost of the dead husband, speaking through a medium, offers a third version. And contradicting everyone is a woodcutter who saw it all unfold.
Whom are we to believe? And can we ever really know the "truth"?
With Rashomon Kurosawa took his place as one of the world's great filmmakers. In his half-century career he made more than 30 movies, including masterpieces like The Seven Samurai, Ikiru, Yojimbo, Ran, The Hidden Fortress, and Throne of Blood.
Admission is free. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407.
Other titles in the series:
October 28: Nosferatu (1922)
November 4: Raging Bull (1980)
November 18: The Bicycle Thieves (1948)
December 2: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
December 9: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1939)
January 6: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
January 13: My Darling Clementine (1946)
January 27: Bringing Up Baby (1938)
February 10: All About Eve (1950)
February 25: Dr. Strangelove (1964)
March 10: The Circus (1928)
March 24: Rear Window (1954)
April 7: Wings of Desire (1987)
April 21: Singin' in the Rain (1952)
May 5: Sunset Boulevard (1950)
May 19: Metropolis (1927)