Production still from Glory to the Filmmaker 2007 | Director: Takeshi Kitano | Image courtesy: Celluloid Dreams
b.1947 Tokyo, Japan
Lives and works in Tokyo, Japan
Director, actor, author, comedian, artist and cult television personality, Takeshi Kitano has forged an original and idiosyncratic film practice unique in contemporary cinema. Drawing on genre cinema and Japanese consumer culture, Kitano’s yakuza (Japanese mafia) films and self-reflexive comedies blend action cinema with a strong sense of the absurd in contemporary life. Kitano fuses nihilism with humour, violent excess with deadpan characterisation, and uses exaggerated choreographies of movement and dark comedy to punctuate otherwise silent and static sequences. Beginning his career as a comic presenter on Japanese TV, his legendary alter ego, ‘Beat Takeshi’, is one of the most identifiable pop culture icons in Japan, and Kitano continues to appear on long-running television shows.