A highly prolific and controversial Japanese filmmaker, Takashi MIIKE was born on August 24, 1960 in Yao, Osaka, Japan. Under the guidance of renowned filmmaker Shohei IMAMURA (a two-time Palme d’Or winner at Cannes), Miike graduated from the Yokohama Vocational School of Broadcast and Film.
Miike’s first films were television productions, but he also began directing several high-quality direct-to-video releases. His theatrical debut came in 1995 with Shinjuku Triad Society, and its success gave him the freedom to work on more ambitious projects. One of the most successful Japanese directors currently working, he has also garnered a strong cult following in the West that is growing rapidly as more of his films become available in translated form on DVD.
Some of Miike’s most popular films include Audition, the Dead or Alive trilogy, Ichi the Killer, Gozu, Izo, and Big Bang Love, Juvenile A.
Miike has achieved international notoriety for depicting shocking scenes… read more
A self-destructive descent into madness, addiction affliction and cathartic violence, "Graveyard of Honor" is easily Miike's finest Yakuza film. The director's more stylish and surrealist touches are still employed here, though "Graveyard" has sympathy for its victims, and the savagery on display is enfolded with bottomless emotional brutality. Though Kishitani's Ishimatsu is as terrifying, and more morbidly fascinating than he has any right to be, particularly impressive to me was the development of Arimori's Cheiko. Her transition from a frail, dazed victim desperately seeking love to a confident woman willingly trapped in a terrible situation is impressive for a genre that generally sees the fairer sex doing little more than crying, smoking cigarettes, getting naked and cooking dinner.
A dishwasher-cum-Yakuza "uncle" quickly points out to his peers how laughable their codes of conduct are. They attempt to destroy him to preserve their way, yet they do so by beating up women, cutting off thumbs, and a host of back- (and front-) stabbing. Y'know, honorable stuff. The lethargic jazz that runs under all this is a requiem for these gangsters' delusion.
'A Yakuza without honor isn't worth shit.' So says a Yakuza Godfather towards the end of "Graveyard of Honor," and the entire movie puts this notion to the test against a terrifying new breed of gangster that is without honor or any recognizably human emotion, portrayed by lead actor Gorô Kishitani. Takashi Miike is able to meld the traditional Yakuza film - featuring plenty of brutal stabbings and gunfights - with the kind of decadent, heroin-fueled downward spiral you'd associate with a rock star. The result is one of the most satisfying and memorable films of the director's prolific career.
Goro Kishitani gives one of the 2000s greatest performances. Miike's cool detachment from, yet close proximity to, the film's maelstrom of violence and Ishimatsu's brutal downfall make this a work like no other. The vicious, rough flipside to the excesses of Ichi the Killer and the Dead or Alive films. One of the 21st century's seminal films, and easily one of the most brutal films ever made.
The premise of Graveyard of Honor—the rise and fall of a mad-dog gangster—is a familiar one, traced as early as The Public Enemy in 1931