The Rubin Rashomon
1950, Japan, Akira Kurosawa, 88 min.
Starring Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô and Masayuki Mori
Introduced by neuroscientist John J. Sakon
Free with a $7 bar minimum
- The rain in the downpour scenes showing the Rashomon Gate was tinted with ink to make it more visible. The ink is clearly visible on the Woodcutter's face towards just before the rain stops.
- The cast asked Akira Kurosawa "What does it mean?" about the script. Kurosawa gave at that time and also in his biography is that Rashomon is a reflection of life, and life does not always have clear meanings.
- Along with Twelve Angry Men, Rashomon remains the best cinematic test case for the fallibility of the witness testimonial.
About the Speaker
Dr. Sakon graduated with a B.S. in physics from the College of William and Mary in 2005. He moved on to North Carolina State University where he received a Ph.D. in physics in 2010. His work included the first detection of the folding state of an individual protein in a live cell using a technique called single molecule FRET. He started as a post-doctoral fellow in Wendy Suzuki’s lab at New York University in 2011, where he studies the cellular components of how the hippocampus and surrounding medial temporal lobes form memories.
According to Dr. Sakon Rashomon is an obvious choice for a memory neuroscientist. In psychology, we know that people will remember things not necessarily how they felt when they actually happened, but how they feel at the present. Recent findings in molecular neuroscience, termed reconsolidation theory, have shown us that our memories are not permanent, but instead are re-stored every time they're brought to mind. This means that every time we color a memory with our present feelings, we're storing a facsimile (of a facsimile of a facsimile) of the 'true' event. We are very much under the egocentric illusion of our memories being impermanent videos, while they are far from.