Photo of Takeshi Kitano (Beat Takeshi)

Takeshi Kitano (Beat Takeshi)

“Sword fighting in film is not about how good the fighter is, but how good the actor receiving the blows is.”

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    FIREWORKS

    TAKESHI KITANO (BEAT TAKESHI) Japan, 1997

    Who’d have expected a Japanese TV host and comedian to turn to such poignant filmmaking? Winner of the Golden Lion, Fireworks has proven to be one of Takeshi Kitano’s best films: a masterpiece of sublime simplicity and staccato force, combating unsparing violence with bare sentimentality.

    KIKUJIRO

    TAKESHI KITANO (BEAT TAKESHI) Japan, 1999

    Japanese auteur Takeshi Kitano pays homage to both The Wizard of Oz and Chaplin’s The Kid in this hypnotic, heart-warming drama. Kitano clashes the tough guy yakuza image of his titular character with the bittersweet, yearning naiveté of childhood. Joe Hisaishi’s score is, as ever, extraordinary!

    BROTHER

    TAKESHI KITANO (BEAT TAKESHI) United Kingdom, 2000

    What happens when a Japanese yakuza ends up in L.A.? For that matter, what happens when Japanese phenomenon Takeshi Kitano (Zatôichi, Battle Royale) writes, directs and stars in an American gangster film? The results are classic Kitano: startling violence, deadpan humor, and unexpected emotion.

    VIOLENT COP

    TAKESHI KITANO (BEAT TAKESHI) Japan, 1989

    Upending cop-thriller tropes with deadpan wit, Takeshi Kitano’s directorial debut is acutely alive to how violence makes itself manifest. By turns incendiary and disconcertingly tranquil, this electrifying film explores how quickly society can become numb to everyday brutality.

    BOILING POINT

    TAKESHI KITANO (BEAT TAKESHI) Japan, 1990

    In his second feature film, Takeshi Kitano dives further into Japan’s underworld by way of a baseball player turned patsy in this carefully plotted road trip lined with vengeance. Boiling Point deepens Kitano’s analysis of male violence…while also featuring one of cinema’s greatest karaoke scenes.

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