by Chris MaGee
It was in June that rumours were flying around online that Takeshi Kitano was going to be setting aside the decontructionist streak of his past three films - "Takeshis'", "Glory to the Filmmaker!" and "Achilles and the Tortoise" - and returning to the genre that cemented his reputation as a filmmaker worldwide, that being the yakuza film. It wasn't until December that we the first promotional still from this new yakuza film, titled "Outrage", was released, but no footage or teaser followed... that is until now. Over the weekend the news of the first trailer for "Outrage" hitting the net popped up on blogs from Japan to... well, Canada. I'd love to give the first person to post it the credit, bit with nearly everyone reporting on this I'll give the nod to Wildgrounds where I first saw it.
"Outrage" tells the story of a conflict between two rival yakuza gangs, the Sannokai and the Ikemoto-gumi. Otomo (Takeshi Kitano), the boss of a small crew, is put in the middle of this battle in hopes that all out war can be prevented. From the looks of the trailer it really does look like Kitano is going back to his roots. He's dropped the platinum hair he's sported off and on since his 2003 reworking of "Zatoichi" as well as his colourful painting that made a reappearance in "Achilles". Instead "Outrage" seems to have the overall feel and patented blue/ grey color-palate of such very early Kitano films as "Violent Cop" and "Boiling Point". For a while there I was worried about "Outrage" seeing that the last yakuza film that Kitano made, 2000's "Brother" was a bit of a mess, but it doesn't look (at least at this point) that Kitano has lost his touch with the cinematic tough guys.
We can safely assume that "Outrage" will be hitting the Cannes Film Festival in May, but general movie audiences will be able to catch it on June 12th. That's the day that Warner Japan will be releasing it in Japanese theatres.