Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Headline

rashers.jpgRashomon, in case you were wondering, is Akira Kurasawa’s 1950 classic in which the account of a murder-rape is told from four very different points of view. There’s nothing quite like it — an opinon borne out by newspapers’ insistence on invoking the film whenever accounts of any given event differ, which is, like, all the time. A brief Lexis-Nexis search later and it becomes apparent — the New York Times is by far the most egregious abuser of the “Rashomon” shorthand. Confer:
Rashomon in Melbourne
To hurl a bustling, kaleidoscopic, Rashomonian novel into the present climate is to indulge in a gamble — a bid for space and quiet and the willing suspension of disbelief — that is either foolish or heroic or, most likely, both.
by Daphne Merkin, 1/16/05
The Suspense Is Killing Me
Burt makes the most of a Rashomon approach, deftly demonstrating that what lives vividly in one person’s memory can be erased or deeply buried in another’s.
by John Hartl, 12/19/04
Five Faces of Antigone, From Surfer Babe to Widow
”Antigone Project” fast-forwards its Greek heroine to the present, then offers a Rashomon-ized view of her tragic plight, interpreted by five female writers paired with five female directors.
by Phoebe Hoban, 10/27/04
“Rashomon” Meets “Gilligan’s Island”
”Lost,” a new ABC drama about air-crash survivors marooned on a spooky deserted island, sounds ludicrous — ”Gilligan’s Island” meets ”The X-Files.’
by Alessandra Stanley, 9/12/04
Moody Loners Vs. Bad Guys
[…] and on “Boomtown,” the Rashomon of crime shows, all the characters get a chance to interpret the evidence their own way.
by Alessandra Stanley, 10/26/03
Partly Mozart Followed by the Real Thing
Mozart got the Rashomon treatment at the Mostly Mozart festival on Tuesday night.
by Anne Midgette, 8/7/03
An article last Sunday about the Albany budget negotiations misstated the source of the “Rashomon” narrative technique, which reveals shifting views of the same event through different witnesses. It was used in the 1950 film of that name by Akira Kurosawa, not in the short story by that name. (The film was based on two stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa — “In a Grove,” which uses the technique, and “Rashomon,” which does not.)
We could go on, and we will — more “Rashomon’s” after the jump.

Who Blinked on Budget? That Depends on Source
It is as if all the players are trapped in an Albany version of Rashomon, the Japanese short story in which the events change depending on who is narrating.
by James C. McKinley Jr., 5/25/03
It’s a Cloud. No, a Bat. No, Wait, It’s a Tax Plan.
The core of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s plan to keep New York City afloat in these tough fiscal times, his call to reinstate a tax on commuters, is shaping up to be the tax policy equivalent of a Rorschach test, or maybe the film “Rashomon.”
by Michael Cooper, 5/7/03
And Then There Were Two (Plus a Mystery)
Someone decided to put “Rashomon” in a Cuisinart along with “A Few Good Men,” “The Usual Suspects” and “A Soldier’s Story,” and hit the pulverize button while forgetting to replace the top. The outcome is a spewing mess spinning at 300 r.p.m.
by Elvis Mitchell, 3/28/03
A War Widow’s Batttle for the Truth
A “Rashomon”-like mystery opens the door into a far-reaching examination of war and national and individual behavior in the Japanese film “Under the Fluttering Military Flag.”
by Lawrence Van Gelder, 7/6/01
Offstage Drama at Long Wharf
The news shook the regional theater industry, particularly the small artistic world of the city that is Long Wharf’s home. And of course, in tales like these, figuring out the truth is a bit like deciphering “Rashomon.”
by Robin Pogrebin, 6/25/01
We could go on, and on, and on, and on, but we’ll spare you.

One reply on “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Headline”

how typical of round-eyed white journalism. pick one easily digestible film and harp on it ad nauseum. why no Hachi-gatsu no ky├┤shikyoku-esque moments. eh?

Comments are closed.