If you've ever heard a crime journalist refer to "The Rashômon Effect" but thought it had something to do with the aftereffects of bad sushi, today's your lucky day. Named for the 1950 Japanese film in which the rape of a woman is recalled by several different witnesses - who each have widely varying stories - the film's plot device has since entered the lexicon as a way to describe the subjectivity of perception. "Rashômonstruck the world of film like a thunderbolt," noted critic Roger Ebert, adding that at the time it was made, the head of the studio disliked it so much he removed his name from the credits. Since then it's been hailed as one of the best films of all time, and is generally credited with introducing Western audiences to the cinema of Japan and establishing Akira Kurosawa's international reputation. It also took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Film and showed an early use of handheld cameras to follow characters. Does that mean Kurosawa is to blame for The Blair Witch Project? 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org. $6 to $7.
Fri., Dec. 11, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 12, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 13, 5 p.m., 2009