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Upcoming NYC Rashomon Performance! Spotlight on the Kurosawa Classic

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Actors (L-R) Allan Tung and James Saito in a scene from the Roundabout Theatre's production of the play "Rashomon." New York. Image ID: swope_1334520

With Oscar season having just come and gone, let's take a quick moment to profile one of the film industry's greatest, in addition to one of his greatest creations.

Akira Kurosawa (1910-1988) may have made small contributions to television and theater, but no one would question that his biggest contributions in the entertainment industry came through his works of cinema. After working as an assistant director during the latter half of the 1930s, Kurosawa made his directorial debut in 1943 with Sanshiro Sugata. He then went on to direct at least one film for every year in that decade. But it wasn't until 1950 arrived that Kurosawa would receive his big break in the international limelight, when he directed his classic Rashomon.

The film was an astounding success, telling the story of multiple characters who bear witness to a distrubing incident, yet all have contradicting and contrasting versions as to what exactly happened. Rashomon proceeded to win a bevy of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film at the 1952 Oscars ceremony. Furthermore, it ushered in Japan's Golden Age of cinema, with other classics such as Tokyo Story, Ugetsu, and Kurosawa's Seven Samurai all being released in the 1950s. Thanks to Rashomon, the rest of the world began to take notice of Japanese motion pictures.

The nonprofit organization Japan Performing Arts Inc. will be performing a stage reading of Kurosawa's Rashomon. To our delight, they'll be throwing a few curveballs our way, as they will feature an entirely female cast, and perform the classic story completely in English. It will take place on March 26 at 3:15 PM, at the 777 Theater located on 777 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036. Admission to the performance is free, and you will able to reserve your seat starting March 10th. For more information on the performance, please visit the Japan Performing Arts website. For more works by Akira Kurosawa, please visit our catalog and see more performance photos from Martha Swope (like the one above) in our Digital Collections.

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