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Outrage (2010)

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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)

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Sakuran (2007)

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If Sakuran was a person, it would be the kind of person other people write songs about; quirky and vital and brave, marching to the beat of a drum no one else hears; charming and impossible to dislike, drawing everyone in like moths to a flame which is in the end gone far too soon.

Which sounds like a cliché (or a 70’s rock star) and in fact is. At first, Sakuran seems to be all about style and nothing … (read more)

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Sleepless Town (1998)

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A modern film noir, with all the squalor and seediness that the pleasure district of Tokyo – the infamous Kabuki-cho – can bring to bear, Sleepless Town is a dark, moody thriller of ambitious proportions.

The culturally diverse cast and crew – Takeshi Kaneshiro as Keniichi Ryuu, a half blood Japanese Taiwanese, Eric Tsang as Cantonese crime lord Yuan and Lung Si-Hung as Kenichi’s adopted father and Taiwanese mob boss just to name a few – almost literally reflect the … (read more)

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