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Rashomon inspired TV series Prism developed for NBC

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    Vili Maunula

    Prism is described as an exploration of a murder trial in which every episode is told through a different person involved. “Driven by an ensemble of complicated and original characters, the drama will explore bias in the criminal justice system and let the audience ask if truth matters less than who can tell the most compelling story.”

    More information at Hollywood Reporter.

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    Mugibuefan

    Thanks for the reference, Vili. As you must know, Rashomon inspired a great number of dramas – the themes explored are fixating. And the reference to “criminal justice system” makes me think of a young Toshiro Mifune as a rookie cop in another Kurosawa classic, the 1949 film noir crime drama “Nora Inu” (Stray Dog).

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    Vili Maunula

    The news actually made me think of a Kurosawa film too, in my case Scandal, which I consider sort of a proto-Rashomon in many ways. The new TV series’ description (“Driven by an ensemble of complicated and original characters, the drama will explore bias in the criminal justice system and let the audience ask if truth matters less than who can tell the most compelling story”) could pretty much summarise Scandal as well.

    Rashomon has indeed been the inspiration for many different creative works. I would say though that what tends to happen is that its surface structure is used as a mere device or a superficial gimmick, rather than really utilising (or understanding?) the potential that it offers. It comes with quite far-reaching implications about how we interact with the world.

    Furthermore, in my view, Kurosawa’s Rashomon doesn’t present conflicting viewpoints or question the existence of objective truth simply because it is an interesting philosophical question to consider. It is using the narrative device to discuss something more concrete. I’ve written more about this here.

    Still, I’m curious to see what Prism will do with the concept. Looking at news headlines these days, I think an exploration of both the value and the notion of truth would be an extremely topical exercise to undertake.

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