Machisu, the only son of a rich collector, has a child’s love for painting. Praise from a famous artist friend of his father inspires the young boy to dream of becoming a painter himself. Precocious Machisu begins to paint everyday and everywhere, even during class, to the dismay of his teacher. When tragedy strikes, little Machisu’s privileged life ends, leaving him orphaned, but with an incomparable passion for art…
As a young man, poor loner Machisu manages to attend art school with money earned from working. He is introduced to an unconventional world of bold creativity but he also gets his first bitter taste of harsh criticism from a dealer. Encouragement comes in the form of attractive clerk Sachiko who is convinced that she alone understands him. Marriage is soon followed by a daughter, as love and hope drive Machisu to commit even more deeply to his art …
Upon reaching middle age, Machisu has yet to sell a painting. But he remains dedicated, supported by his devoted wife Sachiko, who has become his indispensable creative partner. With each new work, Machisu tries to push himself to greater limits of inspiration. Hungry for recognition, their creative attempts escalate beyond what neighbors and even their own teenaged daughter Mari can tolerate. Will Achilles ever overtake the Tortoise?
“Beat” Takeshi Kitano is widely considered to be Japan’s foremost media personality. In addition to his work in the film industry he is an active newspaper columnist, an author and poet, and a ubiquitous presence on Japanese television where he can be seen in up to eight prime time shows per week.Kitano first found fame, as well as his “Beat” nickname, in the early ‘70s as one-half of the manzai comedy duo The Two Beats, a fast-paced, cross-talk act that thrilled audiences with their off-color humor and satirical bite. Throughout the early ’80s, Kitano acted in a number of films, most memorably in Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983).
In 1989 Kitano added another facet to his career — serious film director. He was set to star in a police thriller that was to be directed by gangster film veteran Kinji Fukasaku. When Fukasaku had to leave the film, the film’s producers offered Kitano the directing chores. He reworked the script and the result was Violent Cop, a… read more
Death of art, death of criticism, sacrifice for art's sake. It's up there with Hana-bi.
Takeshi Kitano est décidément un artiste à part (entière). Après une réflexion sur Kitano en tant qu’acteur dans Takeshi’s et une autre sur son statut de réalisateur dans Glory to the Filmmaker!, le… read review
Very funny (Kitano’s style) movie about the world of Art. Dealers have no ethics, customers have no taste, artists are insecure and confused… It’s hilarious how Machisu’s art gets worse, and less original… read review
Disturbing in its inexorable narrative pace, “Achilles and the Tortoise” follows Machisu’s attempts to sell his artwork. Selling turns out to be the one and only way to define… read review