For those who mark time in the West, 1989 was a common year, 365 days long. For Japan however, it was two years in one. The Japanese calendar is based on periods or eras, marked for every year of an emperor. 1989 was the year that Emperor Hirohito, the ruler that had seen the nation both into and out of the Second World War and beyond, died at the age of 87. He passed away on January 7, one week … (read more)
My first film at this year’s Sydney Film Festival was Outrage Beyond, the great Japanese director Takeshi Kitano’s follow-up to 2010’s yakuza film Outrage. Set in the same universe of gangsters in pinstripes, black sedans and sudden violence, it picks up the story some years after the events of the first film.… (read more)
The last film I saw from Japanese powerhouse director Takeshi Kitano was his wonderful update of Zatoichi in 2003. Since then, he’s made a trio of more personal films that some have described as his ‘surrealist autobiographical’ trilogy: Takeshis’, Glory to the Filmmaker! and Achilles and the Tortoise. This film marks his return to more commercial territory, the yakuza film, in which scheming mob bosses and ambitious young thugs do battle on the street.
Kitano plays Otomo, a … (read more)