- The Film
Century Japan... Zatōichi is a blind wanderer who makes a
gambling and giving massages. But behind his humble facade, Zatoichi is
master swordsman, gifted with a lightning-fast draw and strokes of
breathtaking precision. Zatōichi discovers a remote mountain town at
the mercy of the Ginzo gang.
ruthless Ginzo dispose of anyone who gets in their way,
quicker than ever since they recruited Hattori, the mighty samurai
gambling joint, Zatōichi and his trustworthy young friend
Shinkichi meet up with a couple of geishas. As dangerous as they are
beautiful, Okinu and her sister Osei have come to town to avenge their
This renowned Japanese film
director came into this world on January 18, 1947.
Takeshi has a multi-faceted
arts background including time spent as an actor, singer, comedian,
screenwriter, author, TV show anchorman, film editor, poet video game
developer and painter.
Over the years, Takeshi has
been critically acclaimed in his home country Japan and around the
world as a result of his quirky cinematic video
filming work. One
famous critic of Japanese films Nagaharu Yodogawa, even compared
Akira Kurosawa. Even to the extent
that he claimed he was Kurosawa’s
Outside of his film career,
Takeshi is also known as Beat Takeshi and a shortened version of simply
Takeshi arising from his role as an actor in the film Johnny Mnemonic.
Takeshi’s enterprises include
a film company called Office Kitano and an agency for talented artists.
He is also based at Tokyo’s
Arts University where is resides as a professor in the Graduate School
of Visual Arts.
He is most famous in his
native Japan as a comedian and host of a television show called Beat
Takeshi’s TV Tackle which is primarily a discussion programme where
politicians and celebrities consider and discuss current affairs.
Kitano’s earlier film work
featured law enforcement and criminal fraternity known as the Yakuza.
His critics claim that his acting adopts a “deadpan” approach. His
cinematographic style features camera work with little or no movement
except the live action of actors or objects moving in the background. He employs “long takes” in
which there appears little semblance of activity. In addition, he often
edits footage immediately after taking it.
Whilst his work exudes
affection for characters and much humour, it has also been described as
“bleak” or “rebellious”. The outcome of a lot of his work leaves his
audience with a somewhat convoluted impression at times and at others
take on an extremely controversial stance too!
In 2000 and 2002 Kitano’s
films Dolls and Brother proved to be a disappointment especially from
critics in the United States. In Asia and indeed Europe, the
criticism was somewhat muted and not much praise for these films was
forthcoming when compared to his previous works!
However, in 2003 Kitano
directed and starred in Zatōichi. Takeshi created a new interpretation
of the character made famous in Shintaro Katsu’s well established
popular TV series of the same name.
Zatōichi won numerous awards
including the Silver
Lion award at Venice’s Film Festival and it was a
huge success at the Japanese box office.