City Paper is not for tourists
The film programming at the National Museum of Asian Art has long been one of the best deals in the District, and the institution has done its best to provide area moviegoers with streaming titles for home entertainment during the pandemic. This month, the museum gets into the drive-in game with a series of double features that pairs classics of Asian cinema with recent films inspired by them. In these highly divisive times, when reasonable people seem to disagree on basic facts, it’s both encouraging and sobering to see a film like Rashomon. Through a series of flashbacks, Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 masterpiece of unreliable narrators looks at four conflicting accounts of a brutal murder and assault. The film was, for many Western audiences, their first look at Japanese cinema—and at soon-to-be international superstar Toshiro Mifune. The influence of Kurosawa’s fractured narrative has spread far beyond arthouse cinema, cropping up everywhere from Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown to, of course, a Simpsons gag. It’s even given rise to what is now called “the Rashomon effect,” in which what seems to be an objective reality is perceived in conflicting ways by different witnesses. The classic is presented with Zhang Yimou’s gorgeous 2002 martial-arts thriller Hero, starring Jet Li as the swordsman Nameless, who tells the story of how he dispatched three of his king’s enemies. But can you believe his daring tales? Registration for both films is separate. Park Up DC hosts the event and projects the films on a 60-foot screen. Rashomon begins at 7 p.m. and Hero begins at 9 p.m. at RFK Lot 5, 2400 East Capitol St. NE. Registration for each film is available at universe.com. Free.