Date of Birth: 01/18/1947
Place of birth: Tokyo
Author: Stanislav Nikulin
Speaking today about the role and cultural significance of Asian cinema in the modern film process can not ignore the figure of one of the most influential and respected directors Japan - Takeshi Kitano. 1997 is the starting point of the Asian "attack" on all the international film festivals of the world, from Toronto and ending with Brussels. It was in this year`s "Fireworks", little known at the time the general public, Takeshi Kitano gets top awards at Cannes and Venice.
Kitano was born in the working class areas of Tokyo, the country was occupied by the Americans, had to earn a living is not creative work. Young Takeshi has worked lifter, porter, waiter, knowing the strict mores powerful yakuza. He still does not like to answer questions relating to his childhood and relationship with the Japanese mafia. All the answers are in his films. These two threads "accompany" the director throughout his career. Violence and love, birth and death, yin and yang; even the face of China has always produces an ambiguous impression, when one half smiles, the second is always serious. Trauma, partial facial paralysis resulting from a car accident in the early 90s, is an "endless" dialectic, both life and art director.
In 1971, China, together with his friend Kiyoshi Kaneko creates the comic duo "two quarters" (Two Beats); much later, when the cooperation of the past will be only memories, he will take the pseudonym "Beat Takeshi" in memory of the first steps in show business. And they were far removed from the fantasy that imagined friends. At first the "two quarters" were in strip clubs, entertaining the audience in between striptease. Only offer TV producer was followed two years later, and in 1976 China and Kaneko receive the prize at a Japanese television as the best comic duo. Gear, which involved Takeshi, is growing rapidly. "There were days - says director - when I could see in five to seven gears at the same time."
In 1983, on the screens out the picture Nagisa Oshima`s "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence." Events tape occur in Java in 1942. The Japanese camp two colleagues met for American prisoners of war. One of them recently escaped the death sentence by the intervention of the Japanese commandant - a fanatic, but an honest officer. Other - is gaining the trust and respect of the camp. The film, which combines the features of a psychological drama and a philosophical parable, not only emphasizes that the concepts of humanism and violence are not the same in different cultures, but also shows the relationship between people is absolutely different from each other in psychology. The film was enthusiastically received in Europe, including Cannes, but has not been evaluated in Japan. The role of Sergeant O`Hara played the Kitano, which caused even more questions from the Japanese public. During two hours of your favorite comedian never joked. But now, after almost twenty years, this is the tape causes the greatest interest among the fans of Takeshi Kitano, giving them the opportunity to see your favorite actor and director at the beginning of his cinematic work. Despite conflicting opinions, caused by the film, it was a good start. Starring in Oshima, in the company of iconic David Bowie and Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kitano has established himself as an actor capable of almost instantaneous, the transformation with a wide range of emotions and feelings.
What follows is a series of memorable roles in a few films, artistic values ??which remain a big question. In 1989, China agrees to shoot the film "Cool cop", the Japanese version istvudskogo "Dirty Harry", but due to a busy schedule on TV any director does not want to adapt to the actor. Producers take risks and offer Kitano to direct the film. Thus, the actor, has to lead the process of filming, and he copes with this task.
First of all, China is beginning to work with the script, he appended a number of key scenes. "The problem was, - he recalls - that I have never filmed a movie and had this not been studied, but I had a team good citified in the industry and well-studied all the technical methods based on western influences, -. The use of mobile cameras , different shooting angles. But in Japan, you can not force the camera`s movement, if only because that in this case the shot always gets something extra. So I came into the bout with a film crew that they were shooting almost stationary camera. " Documentary static and incredible (for the end of the 80`s) cruelty, here business cards directorial debut, Kitano. The deadly duel between the police and the killer Azumi Kiohoro no "bad" and "good." He and other reach their goals by any means and methods, in spite of everything, including the family; in the final, Azumi kills his sister, planted the Yakuza on the needle. Despite the obvious innovation, use China, the film was received coolly. The image of the brutal police can not knit with the comedian who entertained the whole of Japan at the weekend. It`s time to make a final choice between television and cinema, China is not long in coming.
In 1990, screens out "Boiling Point", complicated story about Tokyo teens prevented the yakuza, and trying to find a way out of this difficult, threatening them with death situation. The director plays a brutal yakuza Uehara, owed money and the mafia boss does not want to return the debts. Hero Kitano appears in the second half of the film and die in ten minutes before the end, but leaves perhaps the strongest impression from a picture. "I scantily use dialogue - recalls the director - because the movie by its nature must be dumb sometimes, I imagine." Ultimate movie "(ultimate film) - the film, consisting of seven slides with no music or dialogue, which still gets the audience . Besides, I was at first a comedian, that is, for a long time professionally dealt with the word. Because I flatter myself with the thought that I have a full understanding of the language of power. and my philosophy from the paucity of dialogue benefits not only the iconic series, but they themselves dialogues. " China continues to minimize the verbal part of the picture in order to enhance the artistic effect of the visual range.
In 1992 and 1994 the director tries himself in the genre tapes - "A Scene at the Sea" and "Someone shot?". Appeal as to the melodramatic and a comedy plots does not introduce anything new in the career of Takeshi Kitano. Where it is necessary to laugh, the audience "obediently" laugh, where you need to brush away a tear Nakata, viewers take out handkerchiefs. These tapes have not brought Kitano considerable success. But between shooting these films, there is a "Sonatina", after which the director is included in the pantheon of the classics of Japanese cinema.
The protagonist - Murakava gangster (played by Kitano), the line manager of the Tokyo yakuza. When Okinawa begins a brutal war between the gangster clans, big boss decides to send a "brigade" Murakavy to resolve the conflict. At the beginning of the film the viewer sees the menacing gangsters ready to execute any order, but during the waiting superiors orders, Yakuza live ordinary lives - arrange fireworks, learn the folk dances, listen to philosophical parable Murakavy, proving, despite his stern appearance, people vulnerable and able to empathize . Kitano cleverly simulates the situation by introducing into the narrative elements of comedy, thriller, melodrama.
In 1994, Kitano gets into an accident, for life "imprinted" on the face of the director. According to him, he realized that he must change. In 1996, he shoots "Kids are returning," the story of friends who had gone through life in different ways, but keep the relationship, even when fate confronts them head-on. In normal surroundings - fighting, killing, male friendship, changing the language of cinema, which the director tells his story. "Kids are returning" had a strong box office success and was adopted by Western cinema public.
In 1997, screens out one of the best Japanese films of the decade - "Fireworks". The film is often compared to the "Sonatina"; but at a certain semantic similarity of "Fireworks" wins at the expense of increased directorial skill Kitano. Former police officer Nishi - collective image of all the heroes of the previous director`s films. His incredible cruelty against mafia happily "side by side" with the selfless love of my wife and tender friendship with the disabled Horibe. "Fireworks" is becoming a reference movie genre cop movie.
"At the end of the advertising company" Fireworks "- says Kitano - I felt that sick of these endless conversations on violence in my paintings I decided that I would do something completely out of another area It`s like having a meal: if consumed.. favorite food every day, sooner or later you`re going to hate it. I found incredibly interesting idea about the bad guy who does good deeds totally random. " So, in 1999, the Cannes premiere of "Kikudzhiro". The main character, can not boast of good taste, he does not like to work, but, but not averse to play on the turf, and often solves problems of life with their fists. But it is he has to be accompanied by a nine-year Masao in search of his mother. After the resounding success of "Fireworks" any new work Kitano is continued interest of viewers and critics. "Thanks to the" machinations Kronenberg who headed the 1999 Cannes Film Festival director leaves with the azure coast without prizes; that did not prevent him to receive the FIPRESCI prize and the award for "Best Actor" at the International Film Festival in Valladolid. At home "Kikudzhiro" was recognized as a masterpiece of the last XX century.
In 2000, 17 years later, Kitano acted in "Taboo" Nagisa Oshima`s playing the role of mentor samurai detachment Toshizo Hijikata. In the same, 2000, on the screens out the gangster movie, "Brother Yakuza" is an attempt to combine the flavor of the Japanese American expanse. Aniki Yamamoto arrives in the US, so in place to deal with the murderers of his brother. To date, this is probably the most unsuccessful work Takeshi Kitano, what, then, lamented himself. Hollywood megalomania simply swallowed all the ideas laid down by the author, turning the film into "another eastern fighter."
Deciding to take a break from director`s burden, it is removed from the Japanese classic cilantro Fukasaku; "Battle Royale" - one of the most high-profile and discussed Prime Minister in 2001. Scenes of destruction of their own kind, under the watchful gaze of the teacher Kitano makes a strong impression.
At this year`s Venice Film Festival the most awaited "Dolls" - a new tape Takeshi Kitano, which tells about the relationship of young people. The film was enthusiastically received by the public, which is not reflected in the awards festival. Kitano left with nothing.
Today, he can afford it; turning from a comedian to a strip club in the embodiment of Japanese cinema to the West ...