Takeshi Kitano

Filmmakers/Actors

Takeshi Kitano (北野 武, Kitano Takeshi, born January 18, 1947) is a Japanese comedian, television presenter, actor, filmmaker, and author. While he is known primarily as a comedian and TV host in his native Japan, abroad he is known almost exclusively for his work as a filmmaker. With the exception of his works as a film director, he is known almost exclusively by the stage name Beat Takeshi (ビートたけし, Bīto Takeshi).

Kitano rose to prominence in the 1970s as one half of the comedy duo Two Beat, before going solo and becoming one of the three biggest comedians in the country. After several small acting roles, he made his directorial debut with 1989’s Violent Cop and garnered international acclaim for Sonatine (1993). He was not widely accepted as an accomplished director in Japan until Hana-bi won the Golden Lion in 1997. In October 2017, Kitano completed his Outrage crime trilogy with the release of Outrage Coda.

He has received critical acclaim for his idiosyncratic cinematic work, winning numerous awards with Japanese film critic Nagaharu Yodogawa having once dubbed him “the true successor” to influential filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. Many of Kitano’s films are dramas about yakuza gangsters or the police. Described by critics as using an acting style that is highly deadpan or a camera style that approaches near-stasis, Kitano often uses long takes during which little appears to be happening, or editing that cuts immediately to the aftermath of an event. Many of his films express a bleak worldview, but are also filled with humor and affection for their characters.

Roles outside of films he’s directed include Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), with David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Jack Thompson; and Johnny Mnemonic (1995), with Keanu Reeves, Dolph Lundgren, Ice-T, and Dina Meyer.

Each new review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

Writer/Director

  • Violent Cop (1989) – actor
  • Boiling Point (1990) – actor
  • A Scene at the Sea (1991) – editor
  • Sonatine (1993) – actor, editor
  • Getting Any? (1995) – actor, editor
  • Kids Return (1996) – editor
  • Hana-bi (1997) – actor, editor
  • Kikujiro (1999) – actor, editor
  • Brother (2000) – actor, editor
  • Dolls (2002) – editor
  • Zatōichi (2003) – actor, editor
  • Takeshis’ (2005) – actor, editor
  • To Each His Own Cinema (2007) – directed with Raymond Depardon, Andrei Konchalovsky, Nanni Moretti, Joel & Ethan Coen, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Zhang Yimou, Atom Egoyan, Aki Kaurismäki, Yousef Chahine, Tsai Ming-liang, Lars von Trier, Raoul Ruiz, Claude Lelouch, Gus Van Sant, Roman Polanski, Michael Cimino, David Cronenberg, Wong Kar-wai, Abbas Kiarostami, Billie August, Elia Suleiman, Manoel de Oliveira, Walter Salles, Wim Wenders, Chen Kaige, Ken Loach, & David Lynch – anthology
  • Glory to the Filmmaker! (2007) – actor, editor
  • Achilles and the Tortoise (2008) – actor, editor
  • Outrage (2010) – actor, editor
  • Beyond Outrage (2012) – actor, editor
  • Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen (2015) – actor, editor
  • Outrage Coda (2017) – actor, editor

Actor

  • Go, Go, Second Time Virgin (1969)
  • Shinjuku Mad (1970)
  • Makoto (1980)
  • Dump Migratory Bird (1981)
  • Manon (1981)
  • Sukkari… Sono Kide (1981)
  • Secret of Summer (1982)
  • Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983) – directed by Nagisa Ōshima
  • Mosquito on the Tenth Floor (1983)
  • Kanashii kibun de joke (1985)
  • Yasha (1985)
  • Comic Magazine (1986) – directed by Yōjirō Takita
  • Anego (1988)
  • Setsuna Kimono, Sore wa Ai (1990)
  • Hoshi wo tsugu mono (1990)
  • A Legend of Turmoil (1992)
  • Dioxin from Fish! (1992)
  • Erotic Liaisons (1992)
  • Silver Ball (1992)
  • Kyoso Tanjo (1993)
  • Johnny Mnemonic (1995) – directed by Robert Longo
  • Gonin (1995) – directed by Takashi Ishii
  • Tokyo Eyes (1998) – directed by Jean-Pierre Limosin
  • Taboo (1999) – directed by Nagisa Ōshima
  • Remains of Chivalry Zankyo (1999)
  • Battle Royale (2000) – directed by Kinji Fukasaku
  • Battle Royale II: Requiem (2003) – directed by Kenta Fukasaku
  • Izo (2004) – directed by Takashi Miike
  • Blood and Bones (2004) – directed by Yōichi Sai
  • The Golden Cups One More Time (2004)
  • Arakimentari (2005)
  • Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit (2008) – directed by Minoru Kawasaki
  • Dearest (2012) – directed by Yasuo Furuhata
  • Mozu (2015) – directed by Eiichirō Hasumi
  • While the Women are Sleeping (2016) – directed by Wayne Wang
  • Ghost in the Shell (2017) – directed by Rupert Sanders