‘Cowboys and Samurai’ Double Features at Aero Theatre

SANTA MONICA — The Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica, will present a series of “Cowboys and Samurai” double features from April 25 to 28, all starting at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 25

Rashomon” (1950, 88 minutes, in Japanese with English subtitles) introduced not only classic Japanese cinema but an exceptional new talent, director Akira Kurosawa, to a widespread international audience. Based on the short story “In a Grove” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, a tragic event involving a husband (Masayuki Mori), his wife (Machiko Kyo) and a local bandit (Toshiro Mifune) is recounted by participants and witnesses yielding conflicting accounts.

Kurosawa explores the nature of truth, human fallibility and hope in a story that examines each version of what happened one hot, fateful day in a thick and lonely forest. With exceptional cinematography from the great Kazuo Miyagawa and a phenomenally eclectic score from Fumio Hayasaka, and that’s just a start. From the wonderfully theatrical acting to the smooth-like-butter cuts-on-action to the astonishingly visceral orchestration of sound and images, “Rashomon” clearly demonstrates Kurosawa’s brilliance.