Daily Archives: September 14, 2009

Kitano’s Return to Violence

Kitano Takeshi

Kitano Takeshi (62, profile) is returning to the movie genre that established him as one of the world’s top directors. It was revealed at the weekend that he started filming last month on his first violent action movie in seven years. During that time he has turned out several introspective and quirky works which have puzzled audiences and received mixed reviews from critics. “It’s been a long time, but violence is interesting,” he said. The title and plot have not been revealed but Kitano’s 15th movie is said to center around a yakuza character, a device he last used in 2000’s less than successful “Brother.” The strong, and so far all-male, cast includes Miura Tomokazu (57), Shiina Kippei (45), Kase Ryo (34) and Kitamura (71) all in yakuza roles, and Kohinata Fumiyo (55) as the sole detective. All the actors are working with Kitano for the first time. Well established at the time as one of Japan’s top comedians, Kitano made his directorial debut 20 years ago with the self-explanatory “Sono Otoko, Kyobo ni Tsuki” (Violent Cop). 1993’s “Sonatine” gangster flick won multiple awards and made the BBC’s Top 100 best movies of the 20th century. In 1997, “Hana-bi” earned Kitano the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival and a whole new level of respect at home. His last violent movie was his interpretation of the blind samurai tale “Zatoichi” in 2003.