The Rashomon Effect: Contradicting Interpretations

Pages: 6 (1628 words) Published: October 26, 2014
The Rashomon effect is contradictory interpretations of the same event by different people. The phrase derives from the movie Rashomon, where four witnesses' accounts of a rape and murder are all different. Contents [hide]

1 Beginning
2 Use in a plot
3 Use in cinema
4 Use in TV
5 See also
6 References
Beginning[edit]
The idea of contradicting interpretations has been around for a long time and has implications to ethics in journalism. It is studied in the context of understanding the nature of truth(s) and truth-telling in journalism. Valerie Alia has used the term "Rashomon effect" extensively since the late 1970s. She first published the term in an essay on the politics of journalism for Theaterwork Magazine in 1982. She further developed and used the term in her books, Media Ethics and Social Change,[1] and in a chapter of Deadlines and Diversity: Journalism Ethics in a Changing World,[2] which she authored; the book was co-edited by Valerie Alia, Brian Brennan and Barry Hoffmaster. A useful demonstration of this principle in scientific understanding can be found in Karl G. Heider's work on ethnography.[3] Heider used the term to refer to the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it. It is named for Akira Kurosawa's film Rashomon, in which a crime witnessed by four individuals is described in four mutually contradictory ways.[4] Plot in books, films and other media may also be developed and described to use this as an underlying idea. Use in a plot[edit]

In Night of January 16th, two different interpretations of Bjorn Faulkner and his murder are presented, leaving the audience to pass a verdict in the end. The musical play Jersey Boys presents the story of American rock band The Four Seasons from the points of view of the original members. The contradicting stories of Bob Gaudio, Frankie Valli, and Tommy DeVito create a Rashomon effect. Use in cinema[edit]

FilmComments
The OutrageA 1964 remake done as a Western starring Edward G. Robinson, Paul Newman, Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom and William Shatner. YavanikaThe 1982 Malayalam mystery thriller film explores backstage drama of a traveling drama group. The plot is structured around the search for an unpopular tabla player of the troupe who suddenly disappears Andha NaalThe Tamil film was inspired by the Kurosawa film. However, in contrast to Rashomon, the film's climax provides a solution to the murder using an Indian proverb as a vital clue Ghost DogLouie and Ghost Dog have different accounts of the circumstances of their meeting, and the book Rashomon is featured in the film. The Woman in QuestionFive people give different accounts of the same incidents that took place before a murder. Though a perfect Rashomon Effect is not achieved, the film tries to depict how the narration by one person can entirely window-dress facts, revealed only by another's narration. HeroThe film relates the different accounts of how the protagonist, the Nameless swordsman, killed three of the Qin emperor's assassins and is allowed to dine close to him as a reward. The story then reveals the three assassins' deaths as apparent sacrifices to let the Nameless swordsman, who is also intending to kill the emperor, to get within striking range of the emperor. Hoodwinked!The film is an animated re-telling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood story. In this story, everyone - Red Puckett, Granny Puckett, the Wolf and the Woodsman, tells the police their view of what really happened in regards to the events in question. To help this, the story opens in medias res. VirumaandiThe Tamil film written and directed by, and starring Kamal Haasan. The film revolves around two criminals, Virumaandi (Kamal Haasan) and Kothala Thevar (Pasupathy), being interviewed. They express how they feel about the direction their lives have taken and how they have ended up...

References: ER "Four Corners" A day in the life of the ER is shown from the perspective of four different individuals. Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Sep 27, 2001 on NBC
Fame Under a theater marquee, two characters huddle to wait out a rainstorm
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