Indeed, it is not too much to say that a whole body of film criticism on one hand and of film-criticism methodology on the other has grown up around Rashomon.
One critical method--semiology or semiotics--appears to have the greatest number of adherents among film critics. As a method of approaching and understanding film, it owes much to a 1974 monograph by Christian Metz, which declares what began as a linguistic and rhetorical discipline and later enlarged itself as an aspect of literary criticism as well to be best suited to approaching film criticism with the appropriate amount of seriousness. Semiotics as applied to cinema, according to Metz, is an elaboration of the symbolic functioning of cinematic "language." Metz, who cites his theoretical debt to the French linguistics expert Ferdinand de Saussure, defines and redefines precisely what the semiotics of the cinema means in various essays, and various critics after him have sought to distill his principal thesis. In one introduction to the semiotics of cinema, Metz writes,