Will ‘Rashomon’ be the Curtain Closer for The Senator Theater?

17 Jul


July 17th, 2009–

It’s kind of an interesting thing that this gets to be the 100th post of Cinematropolis, considering that the Senator had just closed it’s doors as I was setting up this blog, and now after three months of showing revivals, concerts and hosting mini-film fests that long dreaded auction date for the theater has finally arrived. Next week, the auction will occur, on July 21nst, and after that we wait and see whether or not The Senator will ever likely show films again. Is this the last flick to ever play the Senator? Obviously, no one knows that. I’m not even sure if this is even the last one that Kiefauber and company plan on showing.

But, if it turns out that the final image to roll across this great old movie house’s screen is of Toshiro Mifune and gang re-enacting the beautifully crafted and ingenious drama of Rashomon then it couldn’t have ended on a higher cinematic note. Considering that Kurosawa’s 1950 classic tells the story of a dead samurai, his raped wife and the likely culprit, a charming bandit through three different unreliable viewpoints, all conflicting, and none capable of being corroborated or reconciled to the other, maybe it actually is the perfect movie to close this chapter of The Senator’s life. As the theater headed into debt waters it couldn’t manage last March, and was then foreclosed on by the bank, there has been nothing but a steady stream of pointed fingers, dubious accusations, and extremely questionable political wrangling on the part of so-called ‘public’ officials. I imagine that there is no lack of irony or wit involved in screening Rashomon this late into the Senator’s situation.

No matter, if we are lucky, The Senator will find its way into the hands of people that wil find ways to utilize it for the enrichment of the community and still show films like this one, perhaps the greatest of Akira Kurosawa’s long, rich career. And if you happen to be one of those who have no idea what Rashomon is or why you should watch it, don’t wait here for me to tell you. Go over to The Senator’s website HERE and  get the showtimes, buy a ticket and some popcorn and enjoy one of the greatest places to see a movie in Baltimore with one of the greatest movies ever made.

I’ll be back later in the week with my review of the new print of this classic picture. If you want to read a couple of great reviews, check out the Baltimore Sun’s Michael Sragow reviewing it HERE and the good ol’ trusty Roger Ebert with his usual well-written insights HERE.

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