Takeshi Kitano

All japanese martial arts movie talk goes here.
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:35 am

Postby azzbamf » Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:08 pm

i just noticed this is the guy at the end of takeshis castle the tv show on challenge tv with craig charles commentry didn,t know weather you new this anyway the part were they fire at each other in those car things.

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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:29 pm

Postby samtheseed » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:54 pm


Takeshi Kitano Biography

Born in January 18, 1947, in Tokyo, Takeshi Kitano was the youngest of four children of Kikujiro and Saki Kitano. The Kitanos were not wealthy people, and like most working class parents, hoped to give their best for their children. At age nine, Takeshi and his siblings were given a present they would never forget, and which would influence Takeshi to take the path he had chosen for himself. The present was a television, and the Kitanos were the first on their street to buy one. Takeshi spent most of his childhood glued to the television box, where he developed his passion for entertainment, and stand-up comedy.

After dropping out of college, Takeshi spent some time working as a janitor and a waiter, but his luck finally arrived when he worked as an elevator boy for a strip joint. He and a friend, Kyoshi Kanedo, persuaded the manager of the strip joint to let them perform onstage as a comedy duo. Strangely, the manager agreed, and the duo called themselves "The Two Beats". It was a success, and quickly enough, a talent scout recognised their potential, and gave them the opportunity to appear on NHK (Japan's largest TV network). In 1974, The Two Beats appeared in a variety of shows for NHK, and proved to be a massive hit with audiences.

During the late 1970s, Takeshi's fame eclipsed his friend Kanedo, and Japan's audience wanted more of Takeshi. He later became a regular sight on mass media, featuring on television and radio; while turning to other businesses such as becoming an author and writing screenplays.

In 1983, Takeshi appeared in his first debut film, "Merry Xmas, Mr. Lawrence", directed by Nagisa Oshima. The film was about WW2, and in it, Takeshi played a sadistic Japanese officer of a P.O.W camp. Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Bowie also starred in the film, but the whole experience left a bitter taste for Takeshi, who was not used to being directed at.

In 1989, producer Kazyoshi Okuyama chose Takeshi to star in the film "Violent Cop", with Kinji Fukasaku as helmer. But, possibly due to heavenly intervention, Fukasaku fell ill, and Okuyama gave the directing reigns to Takeshi, who completely rewrote the script, making the film much darker, and more of a homage to the Dirty Harry series. Though the film enjoyed success in Japan, it found its real audience abroad, where it became a cult hit. Filmgoers had wanted to watch something different than the usual Hollywood formula flicks, and they found their hero in Takeshi Kitano.

Takeshi followed Violent Cop with "Boiling Point" (1990), an in-depth study of a life of a Yakuza, and the drama "Scene at the Sea" (1991). But it was "Sonatine" (1993), a little quirky film about a gangster who has seen too much and done too much, that catapulted Takeshi into the international spotlight. Sonatine was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and only narrowly missed out from winning the big prizes; it was critically acclaimed, garnering many accolades from Western filmmakers and critics.

Subsequently, Takeshi had a near fatal motorcycle accident, and was knocked unconscious for ten days. Doctors feared that he would never awaken, but God was certainly on his side. He took a year to recover from the accident, at which time he took up painting and writing. His next film, "Getting Any?" was a romantic comedy about a mad scientist helping a bloke get his dream girl by concocting an elixir of love potion. "Kid's Return" was made in 1996, about two childhood friends growing up within the confines of amateur boxing, and all the sleazy corrupt affairs that surrounds that particular industry.

His next film, the 1997 "Hana-Bi" became his masterpiece, and was an even bigger success story than Sonatine. It's non-linear storyline tells of a police officer being tormented by choices he had had to make, and the events that he had to witness: his wife dying of cancer, his partner being paralysed and mental, watching a friend die etc. It's explosive finale was a fitting ending to an outstanding film, and the film won the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion Award.

His most recent film was Brother, set in the United States, about him escaping the troubles in Japan and seeking out his half-brother in America. His brother is a drug-dealer, part of a small gang, but they really come alive with the arrival of Takeshi, whose Yakuza past takes this small gang into a turf-war with the big gangs, all culminating in vicious fights and blood feuds. Brother had a lot of the characteristics of a Takeshi trademark, and although it featured plenty of violence, honour, and blood, it failed to capture the might and beauty of Takeshi's past works.

Takeshi Kitano, not being content with directing, also spent some time appearing in other people's films. In 1992, he appeared in Koji Wakamatsu's "Erotic Liasons", where he plays a Yakuza on a mission to find out if his wife was cheating on him. Then in 1995, he appeared in Takashi Ishii's "Gonin", where he plays a psychotic gay hitman. Interestingly, he made his first Hollywood appearance in "Johnny Mnemonic" (1995), a cyberpunk flick based on William Gibson's novel. In the film, he played a Yakuza named Takahashi, opposite Keanu Reeves. Although the film bombed throughout the world, both Takeshi and Reeves went on to better things. Apart from Brother, Takeshi could be seen in the recent Kinji Fukasaku film, "Battle Royale" (2000), about a group of students sent to a remote island to kill each other until only one survives. If only Survivor were like this.

Interestingly, Takeshi always credits himself as "Beat Takeshi" as an actor, and "Kitano Takeshi" as a director. It is a little homage to himself, referring back to those days when he was a part of The Two Beats, and struggling to make it big.

Although Takeshi is best remembered for his roles as a psychotic Yakuza, he is keen to play different roles, and hates to be typecast. Most probably why he is very enthusiastic in his other hobbies: he is a painter, a radio talk show host, a newspaper columnist, and an author to boot. It is hard not to see why Takeshi has become the biggest personality in Japan, and we all hope that he continues to entertain us the way he has been doing for a long while yet.


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Postby weier78 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:53 am

The guy is a legend

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