Monday, September 14, 2009

Confirmed: Kitano's next film a return to yakuza eiga

by Chris MaGee

Back at the end of June we reported on the rumour that for his 15th feature film Takeshi Kitano was moving away from the deconstructed style of his last three films and returning to much more familiar, and commercially viable, territory: a yakuza film. Makes perfect sense. Kitano, along with Takashi Miike, Rokuro Mochizuki, and Takashi Ishii, helped redefine and revitalize the yakuza genre during the '90's... and Kitano took a real beating from critics for "Takeshis'", "Glory to the Filmmaker", and "Achilles and the Tortoise", so if anyone needs to revert back to their old tried and true working methods it'd be him.

Now word comes from both Tokyograph and Japan Zone that confirms Kitano's next film will indeed be a straight up yakuza film. There's no title attached to the film which Kitano started shooting on August 23rd, but we do know that Kitano will be playing the lead character while Tomokazu Miura, Kippei Shiina, and Ryo Kase will play yakuza Fumiyo Kohinata will play police detective, and Soichiro Kitamura, Renji Ishibashi, and Jun Kunimura will fit into the mix somehow.

Am I glad that Kitano is returning to yakuza films? Damn right I am, but not just because I like things fitting the old status quo. While I've not been a huge fan of Kitano's recent trilogy of avant films I do have to say that technically they've been intriguing. Kitano's skills as an editor haven't been dulled during this period of experimentation, in fact they've become stronger - they just haven't had a decent story to be utilized on. I'm really looking forward to seeing what elements of his recent work Kitano is planning to bring to this new yakuza film.

Kitano's 15th feature film is scheduled to be released next year.


Robert-Philippe Masse said...

I'm happy about this news. Tells that Kitano as the lead role but, I'm sad that no Susumu Terajima, Ryo Ishibashi, Ren Osugi or Makoto Ashikawa has been mentioned.

I just hope that he will be able to go back to his own style and not fall in something too modern or different from what he made in the past. I wish we could see a opening like in Sonatine or Kids Return, with a good music from Joe Hisaishi.

Lookf4r said...

I remember reading somewhere he was going to do a jidai geki film which I found totally exciting. I think I would have liked that better but this could great too. Lets hope he's not over the hill...

keeperdesign said...

All together now: It's About Time! Kitano-san, please feel free to alternate between commercially viable jidai-geki and yakuza eiga and your more personal, experimental stuff. We'll appreciate each more if there's some contrast to be had from project to project!

SPM said...

Great news. I haven't seen his latest non-yakuza films, but his YE's are tip top. Although, i love Kikujiro (not really a yak flick).

I'm surprised the "regulars" aren't in this film.

he needs to grow his hair, that pic makes him look rather portly. he is no spring-chicken though.