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Ridley Scott's The Last Duel will be Rashomonesque

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    Vili Maunula

    Apparently, the upcoming Ridley Scott film The Last Duel (starring Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck) will follow a “Rashomonesque” structure. Or so say this Tweet and this talk.

    The film is based on the book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France and involves a medieval tale of an alleged rape and a sword duel. Sounds familiar? The script is by Affleck, Damon and Nicole Holofcener. I think it’s the first film since Good Will Hunting where Affleck and Damon are collaborating on the script.

    A new Ridley Scott film is always an event for me, so I’m definitely looking forward to this one.



    Oh, that is interesting.

    Matt Damon became quite a feature around Dublin when he got stuck here doing the final filming on the first wave of Covid. I looked up the true story its based on to try to work out why they were filming in Ireland (I’ve still no idea), and became intrigued by the story, I can see why Scott thought it had movie potential.

    From what I’ve read, the only thing we know for certain is the outcome of the duel, historians still argue over whether there was a rape or if it was some sort of set-up. It hadn’t crossed my mind that it was suitable for a Rashomon type structure, but now that I think of it, it seems ideal. I can’t wait to see it.



    The film is about to be released. The trailer certainly looks interesting.

    Scott is quoted as follows:

    “We chose to use the device of telling the story from several character’s perspectives in order to examine the immutable fact that although often multiple people who experience the same event come away with differing accounts, there can only be one truth.

    Well, that certainly sounds Rashomoneque. I can’t find any other comment though in relation to it being based in any way on Rashomon. Legal reasons perhaps?



    Except Rashomon takes the position everything is subjective and the truth is ultimately unknowable. Or at least it, unlike pretty much everything following it, can’t be resolved, reasoned or smoothed out into one clearly correct narrative. The narratives remain contradictory and unresolved.

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