Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Japanese Films’

Brother (Aniki) – Starring & Directed by Takeshi Kitano

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Brother (Aniki) (2000)  Written, directed and edited by, and starring Takeshi Kitano (see partial filmography below).  In this Japanese/American Yakuza film, the first part set in Tokyo, the second in Los Angeles, an exiled Yakuza captain, Yamamoto, played with his signature, and captivating, explosive impassivity by Kitano, joins up with his half-brother’s drug dealing gang in Los Angeles.  Kitano, as writer, director, and editor, plays the density and ritual of Tokyo and the Japanese Yakuza against the space and marked lack of respect of Los Angeles and its brutal gangs.  This is Kitano’s first film set in the U.S., (and his last) and one cannot help but be impressed by the way he is channeling the myths of the American west, its wide open spaces, lawlessness and rugged individuality, reminiscent of early Eastwood, through his vision of the codes and life of the Japanese underworld.  Though perhaps not his best film, there is some very good acting, and excellent writing and directing, Kitano’s distinctive humour, and superb music by Joe Hisaishi, making Brother (Aniki) a must-see for anyone interested in Japanese or world cinema, and especially for those who are fans of Kitano’s work. (PR) (Note: As expected, there is a good deal of rather bloody violence.)

See our posts on other films by and/or starring Takeshi Kitano: his latest film Outrage – Way of the Yakuza, Violent Cop, the excellent Fireworks (Hana-Bi), Boiling Point (Jugatsu), the superb Sonatine, Zatoichi and Battle Royale.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order when available):

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Outrage – Way of the Yakuza – Directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 8 December 2011

Outrage – Way of the Yakuza (2010) (DVD) Written, directed, and edited by, and starring, Takeshi Kitano (see partial filmography below).  This Japanese contemporary Yakuza film, which had its premier at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, in competition for the Palme d’Or, and its U.S. premier 2 December 2011 in New York and Los Angeles, is the latest film from the brilliantly original, and multi-faceted Japanese artist/actor/director Takeshi Kitano.   Outrage – Way of the Yakuza builds slowly, with a bit of a quack, shall we say, in the middle.  However, as the sub-story of the illegal casino in an African embassy in Tokyo concludes, the film and Kitano’s mastery as actor and director, become distilled, clean, hard and serious.  Violent, and indeed brutal, Outrage – Way of the Yakuza, is nevertheless laced with Kitano’s special brand of sharp humour. Obviously a must-see film for all Kitano fans. (PR)

See our previous posts on the excellent films by and/or with Takeshi Kitano:  Sonatine, Fireworks (Hana-Bi), Boiling Point (Jugatsu), Zatoichi, and Battle Royale.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Create a wonderful personal film library…  Here are links to amazon.com:

 

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Violent Cop (Sono otoko, kyōbō ni tsuki)

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Violent Cop (1989)(DVD)  Directed by, and starring, Takeshi Kitano   Takeshi Kitano plays a rather unethical, and yes, violent cop, eventually brought down by his unorthodox methods. Violent Cop is Kitano’s first film as director (Kinji Fukasaku was the film’s intial director, though he stepped down due to illness) and, as such, merits watching, especially given that Kitano rewrote most of the screenplay prior to commencing filming.  Here we have all the ingredients of classic Kitano, off-beat humour, violence, tenderness, camaraderie and a society at-odds with itself; touching, moving, tense, fascinating.  Kitano’s acting is, of course, uniquely masterful. (PR)

See our other posts on excellent films by, and with, Takeshi Kitano: FireworksBoiling PointSonatine and Zatoichi; see out posts on films directed by Kinji Fukasaku, an important influence on Kitano, : Street Mobster, Graveyard of Honor, Blackmail is My LifeSympathy for the Underdog, and Battle Royale, directed by Kinji Fukasaku starring Takeshi Kitano.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a wonderful personal film library..

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Fireworks (Hana-Bi) by Takeshi Kitano

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 11 September 2011

 

File:HanaBi poster.jpg

Hana-bi (Fireworks) by Takeshi Kitano

Hana-Bi (Fireworks, in English) (1997)(DVD)  Written, directed and edited by Takeshi Kitano, starring “Beat Takeshi” (Takeshi Kitano) and winner of the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 1997 Venice Film Festival, with a score was composed by renowned Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi.  Serene and brutal, melancholy, tender, loving and stylized Hana-Bi, is an exceptional film by an exceptional artist.  The film includes many scenes in which Kitano’s own pointillist, pop, surreal paintings, made during his recovery from a terrible motorcycle accident in 1994, are, if not featured, certainly present, haunting, and quite moving. (PR)

See our other posts on the films directed and/or starring Takeshi Kitano: Sonatine, Boiling Point and Battle Royale

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Street Mobster (Okita le Pourfendeur: Yakuza Moderne) (Gendai yakuza: hito-kiri yota)

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 7 May 2011

Poster for Street Mobster (Okita le Pourfendeur: Yakuza Moderne) (Gendai yakuza: hito-kiri yota)

Street Mobster (1972) (DVD) Directed by Kinji Fukasaku (Sympathy for the Underdog (1971), Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973), Dotonbori River (1982)) , starring Bunta Sugawara, Noboru Ando and Mayumi Nagisa.  In this violent Yakuza film from 1972 set in post-war Tokyo, and through the trials and tribulations of the ganster Okita, Fukasaku looks once again, with an astonishing cinematic modernity, at honor, duty, individualism, chaos and the resulting isolation and destruction.  (PR)

See our previous posts on the astonishing film director Kinji Fukasaku, here.

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