The Surprising Samurai Film That Influenced Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel

During an interview with Collider, Matt Damon and Nicole Holofcener talked about the influence that the classic samurai film “Rashomon” had on the script-writing process. Damon confessed that it was a style he wanted to utilize before they even sat down to write the script, as he felt it would be the perfect narrative device for “The Last Duel.” He also revealed that it’s part of how he and Ben Affleck convinced Holofcener to come and write the film with them, with her covering the de Carrouges section of the script.

Directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, “Rashomon” is related through the eyes of an unreliable narrator — several, actually. The film relies on eyewitness accounts of a samurai’s murder, and these accounts often do not align. In fact, the film was so notable for this plot device that the Rashomon effect became a term that was used to describe the unreliability of eyewitnesses in general. For a film containing subject matter as sensitive as this, it’s an interesting storytelling technique for “The Last Duel” to use, and the inspiration behind it makes perfect sense.

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