Thursday, April 10, 2008

You Got To Heart Office Kitano

Well, this piece of news certainly made my day.

I'm a big Kitano Takeshi fan, ever since I saw Hana-Bi, and it was my very first Kitano film. I cried like a baby at the ending. It was the most sentimental gangster film I'd ever seen, if there could ever be such a thing.

But it is.

Then I got the UK R2 box-set that includes Violent Cop, Boiling Point and Sonatine. The first was very disturbing and sad, the second had me scratching my head at the framings, the third was endearing. It was the most endearing gangster film I'd ever seen, if there could ever be such a thing.

But it is.

Over the years, I acquired and saw the rest of his filmography, and now Kikujiro shares the spot with Hana-Bi as my most favourite Kitano films. A couple years ago, I caught Takeshis in Singapore, and ended up scratching my head again. That piece of mindfuck is the most confusingly personal film of his, if ever there could be such a thing.

But ... it is.

I still haven't seen Glory To The Filmmaker (Kantoku Banzai), but from what I can gauge from the very mixed reviews it got, I'll be expecting something along the likes of Takeshis. The thing about Kitano is that as frustrating or confusing as he has ever been, and as frustrated and confused as he has ever made me, he's yet to make a film that I can truly hate. There's just so many of his personal touches in his films that they have the ability to exist within their own universe, governed by their own set of rules, so there's nothing to compare them to except each other.

This new film, Achilles to Kame (Achilles And The Tortoise), sees Kitano play "a talentless-but-dedicated artist who plugs along with the support of his long-suffering wife." I don't know about you, but this, keeping in mind his last two films, sounds like Kitano has reached a point every artist reaches, where he attempts to grasp at ... something, and we're not quite sure what.

And the fact that he's going to feature more of his "idiotic paintings," like in Hana-Bi, well folks like Jonathan Rosenbaum who don't think much of his canvas work should watch out.

Personally, I think those paintings of his are affecting, in the way that his films are in a world of their own.

Glory to the filmmaker!

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