Dec’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's human to lie. Most of the time we can't even be honest with ourselves.
Officially starting my Akira run!
First thoughts, glorious rain and crystal clear cinematography for a B&W film in 1950. 8 actors, 4 characters recount different versions of a murder and rape, a simple story executed perfectly in 85 minutes. The camera has the actors mostly centre frame, the entire film is like this making it extremely easy to watch and enjoy the edit of the film as it goes on. You’re never lost, the story is structured well and it handles flashbacks extremely well, everything about this is simple but genius at the same time. The film apparently has some of the first ever hand held style and the first ever camera shot to look directly at the sun.
All the performances were good, my first exposure to the lead Toshiro Mifune and he was the standout performance to me, his laugh is infectious. A film with so many hidden details you have to pay attention otherwise you’ll miss them. I liked how the characters told their story directly towards the camera, since we are the audience, this is perfect. Themes of storytelling, life, truth and justice. The editing is some of the best ever in cinema history, the whole film being a metaphor for life I love too. Can easily see where George Lucas got some inspiration for Star Wars. Memento and Pulp Fiction feel directly inspired by this too since it’s about perspective. This is one of those films where it’s unbelievably ahead of its time and is so good, it shouldn’t exist, I have a feeling I’m going to be repeating myself saying this with his other films.
Fun fact: Often credited as the reason the Academy created the "Best Foreign Film" category.