Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: Re: The Rashomon Theory
From: (Kathleen Hunt)
Date: 1990-11-02, 16:21
Newsgroups: (Kevin Schraith) writes:

*    The other day in my film class I saw the 1950 Akira Kurosawa classic
*"Rashomon".  The story revolves around the rape of a woman and the murder of
*her husband by a bandit.  Instead of showing the actual crime, the movie
*reenacts the crime from the descriptions given by the bandit, the woman, the
*dead husband (through a medium), and the person who found the body.  
*    Now for the interesting parallels.  The crime was committed in the
*woods, and the body of the man was found by a woodcutter (=Pete).  The
*bandit's name is Tajomaru (=Tojamura, the Asian Guy).  The movie is based
*upon how very different the descriptions of the crime were, based upon the
*same incident.  The descriptions even vary in the point of who actually
*killed the man.  The supernatural slant of twin peaks is evident in the

When I first saw Rashomon, I had heard in advance about how the movie
shows how everybody's descriptions differ.  But the fascinating thing
to me, and the thing people rarely mention, was that every eyewitness
not only told a different version of the crime, but CLAIMED TO BE THE
KILLER!  Finally, when the dead man's spirit is contacted, he says he
committed suicide -- i.e. that he was the killer!  So for some weird
reason, every person there wanted to get the credit/blame for the murder.

I think that's a really neat bit of psychology.  It happens in real life,
too -- often when there are notorious unsolved murders, miscellaneous
nutcases will turn themselves in to the police, claiming to be the

I can see this happening in TP, with Leland especially.  I can see him
running up to Cooper saying "All right!  I confess!  I did it!  I killed
my little girl!" when actually he didn't kill her at all  (though I
think he may have.  Leland & Harold are my two best bets...)

It's all like some weird Ruth Rendell novel...she writes these alarming
crime stories in which, often, the crime never gets solved, or, worse,
the police THINK they've solved it but they haven't really -- only the
reader knows what's really happened!  Her depictions of the twisted
logic of nutso murderers are really creepy, too.  Very Lynch-y.