“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