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Takeshi Kitano: All the Rage in France

Commandeurs des Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. France has no higher honor to confer to an artist. On Tuesday, Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand formally proclaimed Takeshi Kitano a Commander of Arts and Letters.

Takeshi Kitano

As Coco Masters reports for Time, the Japanese filmmaker is the talk of Paris: "A selection of Kitano's paintings, which he began producing after a serious motorbike crash in 1994, are on display at Paris' Fondation Cartier, along with videos, objects and installations, in the exhibition Gosse de Peintre (The Painter's Kid). The Centre Pompidou is also hosting a Kitano film and TV retrospective, and his memoir, Kitano par Kitano, written with French journalist Michel Temman, has just started gracing Parisian bookstores."

In honor of and in conjunction with Takeshi Kitano, l'iconoclaste, opening today at the Centre Pompidou and running through June 26, we're presenting Takeshi Kitano, Iconoclast, an online retrospective for viewers in France in Cinema 2 from now through June.

Gosse de Peintre is on view at the Fondation Cartier from today through September 12. "Despite being showered with exhibition offers, Kitano has refused them all, until now. Following a meeting with director of the Fondation Cartier, Hervé Chandès, Kitano agreed to produce a site-specific exhibition for the Paris institution," notes Wallpaper, presenting several selections from Gosse de Peintre (and for more, see Libération, which has invited Kitano to guest-edit an issue this week). "Kitano has also shot a series of short comic films for the exhibition, all of which play on western notions of Japanese culture."

Suggestions for further exploration: kitano takeshi . com, an all-round resource,, gathering French news, interviews and more, Bob Davis's 2003 profile for Senses of Cinema and Tom Mes's 2003 interview for Midnight Eye.

Update, 3/16: The Guardian's Steve Rose: "Kitano's takeover turns out not to be an exhibition at all; it's a children's funfair."


""Despite being showered with exhibition offers, Kitano has refused them all, until now." Nice try: there was an exhibition of Kitano’s paintings back in the 97 at the Vancouver Film Festival, the year HANA-BI made the fest rounds.

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