Kitano retrospective in London
Saturday, October 23, 2010

The 14th and 15th of November, there will be a retrospective of Kitano at the Barbican in London, as part of their Aspects of Japanese Cinema program.

The retrospective will show Hana-Bi, Brother, Dolls and Zatoichi.

For more details please check out Barbican - Kitano.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Barbican
Sequel to Outrage
Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Not quiet satisfied with how it turned out, Kitano is reported to preparing a sequel to his latest film Outrage.

In an interview, Kitano said, "We just about made an interesting film. But if I analyze it carefully then I'd just about give it a pass mark. My own rating would be 60%, so I'm aiming for Outrage 2, to make something more entertaining."

Another reason may be, that Outrage is Kitanos biggest box-office hit since Zatoichi, having earned over 750 million yen domestic so far.

Outrage 2 is planned to premiere fall of 2011.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Hollywood Reporter
Outrage on DVD and Blu-Ray
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kitano's latest movie Outrage will be released on both DVD and Blu-Ray, December 3rd, 2010.

There will be three different ways to pick it up. First, the DVD, which will be in 1.85:1 (16x9) aspect ratio, with 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese sound, and both English and Japanese subtitles. As additional material, there will be trailer, TV spot and cast interviews. The DVD is locked for Region 2 (NTSC).

The Blu-Ray will be similar as the dvd, with the exception of better sound, 5.1 HD DTS and Liniar PCM Japanese, and, according to etailers, Region Free.

The third and final option will be a Limited Edition of a 2 DVD plus Blu-Ray. The DVD and Blu-Ray will most likely be identical with the above mentioned. The seconds DVD contains the cast talking about the film, a making-of feature, a documentary about Outrage at the Cannes Film Festival, and event footage.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Kitano most influential person in Japan
Friday, July 30, 2010

Based on over 26,000 votes from 8 different websites, Kitano Takeshi was voted the most influential person in Japan today.

Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, July the 29th, that according to an Internet survey released by Sankei News Thursday, Kitano had been voted the most influential person in Japan, ahead of prime minister Kan Naoto and baseball player Suzuki Ichiro.

There is no mentioning on what websites participated, what population segment their users belongs to, or, for that matter, what Kitano himself thinks about the ranking.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Wall Street Journal
Kitano at his best with Outrage
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Following the screenings yesterday of Outrage, the reviews are quite positive. While even fans were leaving screenings of his previous three films, Outrage had them seated to the very end and leaving with huge smiles and two thumbs up.

Maggie Lee of THR.Asia calls Outrage, "...arguably his best film in a decade" and continues "Cleansed of his pretentious navel-gazing in recent years, it burst with the direct cinematic power of his early works.", and Todd Brown of Twitch opens his review with the statement "Takeshi Kitano is back." continues with "Kitano directs one of his most direct and most violent pictures here." and concludes "...his best since Zatoichi and one which stands comfortably beside both Sonatine and Fireworks to create a trio of truly iconic international crime films."

Kitano himself is more reserved about his film. In the press conference he said, "My film directorial career has been nothing but repetition of one failure after another! But for me the film ended up not too bad and I definitely think it's a controversial movie.", and about why he chose to make a violent Yakuza film, Kitano said, "I thought it would be as good a time as any to tackle the violent film again. But if I were to repeat the same old, same old, it wouldn't be too exciting, it would just be boring."

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Outrage at Cannes
Thursday, May 06, 2010

Widely reported in numerous websites and publications the last month, Takeshi Kitano's 15th film Outrage will participate in the S?lection Officielle Comp?tition at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Outrage will be shown for an invited audience at the Grand Th??tre Lumi?re on Monday, May the 17th, at 12.00 and 22.15 CET respectively.

Kitano originally turned his back to the Cannes Film Festival after certain circumstances regarding Kikujiro, but returned somewhat in 2007 with the short film Une Belle Joun?e, which was part of the anniversary film Chacun son Cinema, where 33 of the worlds greatest filmmakers each participated with a short film to celebreate the Cannes Film Festival. But now Kitano is back as a director in the official competition, alongside other major auteurs such as Abbas Kiarostami, Mike Leigh and Bertrand Tavernier, who will compete for the Palme d'Or.

Outrage also marks a return to Kitano's directorial roots and a new chapter for him as auteur, as he with Akiresu to Kami ended his "autobiographical" trilogy, and not since Zatoichi has there been so much buzz surrounding a Kitano film on the international scene.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Festival Cannes
Kitano awarded Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
Thursday, March 18, 2010

During the galla opening of the Kitano exhibition Gosse de peintre at the Fondation Cartier in Paris on March the 9th, Kitano was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters), the highest artistic accolade by French culture minister Frederic Mitterrand.

As part of his award speech, Mitterand said about Kitano, "You are not a man of one single film nor one single style, much less one single face."

Henrik Sylow | Source: France24
Kitano par Kitano
Saturday, February 20, 2010

February the 24th, a new book about Kitano will be released by ?ditions Grasset & Fasquelle.

Kitano par Kitano (Kitano on Kitano) appears to be a biographical discours written by Kitano, based on interviews by the French journalist Michel Temman. The book covers both his life, his films, and - for the first time - his personal views on humanitarian commitment to Africa as well as his pessimistic view of contemporay Japan.

The book is in French and can be bought over Amazon (France).

For more details on the book, please check out the catalogue of ?ditions Grasset & Fasquelle

Henrik Sylow | Source: France24
Gosse de Peintre Exhibition of Kitano
Sunday, January 31, 2010

Famous throughout the world for his films, Takeshi Kitano also commands an enormous popularity in Japan, where he is known as Beat Takeshi. An outstanding personality, he is a star actor, TV presenter, comedian, musician, singer and poet. From March 11 through September 12, 2010, the Fondation Cartier gives home to a special exhibition by Beat Takeshi Kitano, according to a press release received by Elite Traveler.

Conceived as a site-specific installation for the Fondation Cartier, Gosse de peintre presents an unexpected and captivating world in which the magical memories of childhood take center stage. Entering the funhouse, the visitor encounters an array of whimsical machines, fantastic creatures and strange objects, as well as paintings, films and TV clips.

Published in conjunction with Gosse de peintre, this catalogue offers a glimpse into the world of Kitano. Drawings of objects designed by Kitano, as well as installation blueprints and paintings by the artist describe the axis of this singular exhibition. ?I wanted to give another definition to the word ?art? ? less conventional, less snobby, more relaxed and accessible to everyone,? Kitano says in the catalogue.

The Fondation Cartier?s exhibition Gosse de peintre will coincide with the French release of Kitano?s most recent film Achilles and the Tortoise and as well as with an important retrospective of his films organized by the Centre Pompidou from March 11 to June 21, 2010.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Founation Cartier
Outrage Trailer released
Saturday, January 30, 2010

Office Kitano has released the trailer for Kitano's next film Outrage. Something quiet interesting about the trailer is the showing of the Warner Brothers logo before the Office Kitano logo, which may suggest a wider release than the previous three films by Kitano.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Office Kitano
French dvd of Kantoku Banzai!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kitano's Kantoku Banzai! has finally been released on dvd outside Japan. Almost two years after the japanese release, the french company Avanti released Glory of the Filmmaker! on dvd, November 17th, 2009.

It is a standard dvd-9 release, with a 1.85:1 (16x9) picture, a 2.0 dolby digital japanese soundtrack and french subtitles. As additional material there is the trailer.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Discordance
Kitano goes yakuza with Outrage
Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Kitano's 15th feature film, Outrage, marks a return to the yakuza genre, which Kitano last visited 9 years ago with Brother.

Outrage depicts a power struggles among Tokyo gangsters, and Kitano will play the leading role as a low-ranking boss who does his superiors' dirty work.

The cast includes Tomokazu Miura, Kippei Shiina, Ryo Kase, Jun Kunimura, Tetta Sugimoto, Renji Ishibashi and Takashi Tsukamoto.

Warner Japan and Office Kitano are planning the release in 2010.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Variety
Kitano to hold art exhibition in Paris
Sunday, October 04, 2009

As of March 11th to June 21st, 2010, Kitano will be displaying his art at the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain. The exhibition, Grosse de Peintre, meaning Kid Painter, will feature a wide variety of works by Kitano, who according to Fondation Cartier will lead ?the visitors through surprises, gags, and games, all while mocking contemporary art, experimenting with the sciences, and toying with the clich?s associated with his country.?

Henrik Sylow | Source: Japan Headlines Examiner
Zatoichi Blu-Ray from Miramax
Monday, August 17, 2009

Where Artificial Eye released their Blu-Ray edition of Zatoichi back in October 2008, Miramax is now ready to release it, September 15th.

Presented in 1.85:1 (16x9), it will most likely have DTS-HD and 5.1 master audio, along with English and Spanish subtitles. No details about if the disc will have English dubbed sound. Additional material will most likely be similar to the previous DVD edition.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Achilles to Kame on DVD
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February the 20th, Bandai Visual is releasing Kitano's latest film Achilles to Kame on DVD.

Having recieved mixed reviews, Achilles to Kame marks the third and last film of Kitano's self-reflective trilogy, by himself named his "artistic suicide" trilogy, which began with Takeshis' and continued with Kantoku: Banzai!, where Kitano plays Machisu, who born into a wealthy family, but having lost both his parents as a child, decides to follow his dream of becoming a painter throughout his life, despite ever having any success.

The DVD is presented in its original aspect ration of 1.85 in 16x9, with both 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese surround sound, and has trailers, a making of documentary and an interview with Kitano as additional material. Only the film has English subtitles.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Takeshi Kitano honored at Thessaloniki Festival
Friday, November 21, 2008

Kitano Takeshi's latest film Akiresu to Kami was awarded the Golden Alexander, the top prize at the annual Thessaloniki Film Festival, during an awards ceremony at the port city's landmark Olympion Theatre Tuesday night.

Akiresu to Kami is the third and last film of the trilogy, by Kitano named "Artistic Suicide", which according to Kitano explores the ever-increasing difficulties facing artists trying to promote their work in an environment of rampant consumerism dominated by the media, art dealers and the like.

"This is why I talk of artistic suicide," Kitano said during the award speech, recounting an anecdote about how some wealthy people that saw Akiresu to Kami in Japan had approached him and asked to buy the paintings that he had painted himself to use in film. "And I assure you that I am an untalented and unsuccessful painter," Kitano added laughing.

Kitano ended his speech by showing gratitude. "I am happy to receive the award from people in this country with a long history. I really appreciate it. At the same time, I feel a bit embarrassed for receiving such a prestigious prize as well," he said in a shy manner and concluded, "I will strive to become an even better director. Thank you."

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Kitano Takeshi to be honoured at Thessaloniki
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kitano Takeshi will receive a life time achievement award, the Honorary Golden Alexander, at the 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which will take place November 14th to 23rd, 2008.

This will be Kitano's first trip to Greece and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, where he besides recieving the award, also will present his last film Achilles To Kame, and be giving a masterclass.

For more news and information about TIFF 08, visit their website.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Screen Daily
Kitano hands over award
Sunday, August 31, 2008

Yesterday, Kitano presented the Glory to the Filmmaker award to Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

The Glory of the Filmmaker award was first given to last year to Kitano Takeshi, and is given to a filmmaker, to honor for his/hers career, achievements and innovations within cinema.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Payvand Iran News
Akiresu to Kami premiers in Venice
Friday, August 29, 2008

Kitano Takeshi's latest film, Akiresu to Kami, Achilles and the Tortoise in English, opend in Venice Thuesday evening, and recieved mixed reviews by the press.

Ray Bennett from Reuters comments, "It's an enjoyable, if in the end sentimental, portrait of a man consumed with and driven mad by his passion for art. The film will find admirers at festivals and in art houses.", and continues that, "...the cinematographer Katsumi Yanagijima and production designer Norihiro Isoda are making impressive contributions along with an attractive score by Yuki Kajiura.", while Derek Elley from Variety concluded, "For a helmer who made at least two classics a decade or more ago, the script has the off-putting smell of personal bitterness masquerading as self-analysis. Now that his navel-gazing trilogy is complete, it's up to Kitano to show whether he has anything original left to say."

Where most critics mainly commented narrative, only one so far dared to elaborate on what Kitano attempted to say with the film. Dan Fainaru from Screen Daily thus concluded, "Kitano's basic argument is that art is elusive, no one knows exactly what it is or how to appreciate, but it's run by a bunch of crooks, inventing rules and regulations at will and exploiting the ignorance of the others. Detached from reality, the true artist is possibly a social parasite, possibly too na?ve to realise his own talent."

After the premiere, Kitano held a press conference, where he adressed the background of the film. "What I was trying to describe was a side effect of art and art as a kind of drug that numbs your senses," said Kitano. "Art might become a drug for an artist. But I am not convinced that it is necessary for all artists." Kitano ended his comment about the artist, "It's not necessary for an artist to die, nor should he sacrifice his family life."

On the question about Kitano using his own paintings in the film, Kitano made a short and - kitanoesque - humourous reply. "My paintings are not appreciated by the public or critics, so I tried to deal with painting and tried to show that it is not necessary to be successful as a painter."

For more news and information about Akiresu to Kami, check out the link section.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Zatoichi Blu-Ray
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Artificial Eye is releasing Kitano's Zatoichi in Blu-Ray format, October 27th, 2008.

Currently no details on additional material, but it will most likely be similar with their 2005 special edition and in normal resolution. The film itself will be in 1080 as it is Blu-Ray.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Second Sight Kitano Collection
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The UK company Second Sight films will on October 6th, 2008, release a boxed collection of the first six films by Kitano Takeshi.

What is very special about this boxed collection is, that it comes with Jean-Pierre Limosin's documentary Takashi Kitano ? The Unpredictable, in French Takeshi Kitano, l'impr?visible, and that Violent Cop and Boiling Point include 5.1 audio and commentaries by Chris D, author of Outlaw Master of Japanese Film.

All six films are in OAR and 16x9, but no details if they are based on the old UK MIA source or a new one, at this moment.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Second Sight films
Kitano in Masters at TIFF
Friday, August 08, 2008

First Venice, now Toronto. Kitano's Akiresu to Kami will be part of the Master's program at this years TIFF, which will take place in Toronto from September 4th to 13th.

Featuring roughly 70 pieces of Kitano's own artwork, Akiresu to Kami is the final film in the acclaimed Japanese filmmaker's self-reflective trilogy, which began with Takeshis' and continued with Kantoku: Banzai!.

For more news and information about TIFF 08, visit their website.

Henrik Sylow | Source: TIFF 2008
Akiresu to Kami in Venice lineup
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

At the press conference in Rome, President of the Venice Biennale, Paolo Baratta, and the Director of the Cinema section, Marco M?ller, announced the lineup for this years Venice Film Festival, which will take place from August 27th to September 6th, and that Kitano's Akiresu to Kami will be in competion alongside 20 other films, amongst them two other from Japan: The Sky Crawlers by Mamoru Oshii and Ponyo on Cliff by the Sea by Miyasaki Hayao.

This year's jury will be headed by German director Wim Wenders, and includes amongst others Italian actress Valeria Golino, Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel and Hong Kong director Johnnie To.

For more news about the Venice Film Festival, visit the La Biennale website.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Variety Asia
Ten to sen on DVD
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A little delayed news, but nonetheless still worth the delay, is that the tanpatsu Ten to sen (Points and lines) is out on DVD, as of 21st March this year.

Based upon the novel by Matsumoto Seich?, Ten to sen has Kitano Takeshi, here as "Beat" Takeshi, in the lead as Detective J?tar? Torikai, who, about to retire, is put on a routine case of double suicide involving a goverment official and a waitress, but isn't quiet convinced about this case, which everyone is trying to push aside. Investigation further, connections arise and lines are drawn between who did in fact witness the "suicide", hence the title which means points and lines.

The DVD is presented in 2.35 anamorphic with Japanese 5.1 and DTS sound, and comes in a 2-disc edition with additional material. Sadly, it is without english subtitles.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Office Kitano Akiresu to Kami website
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Office Kitano has just released the official Akiresu to Kami website, with detals about the films premiere the 20th September 2008, and the trailer for the film.

From what little the trailer show, Akiresu to Kami seems to be a return to more traditional narrative, from the extreme jazz deconstructive forms Kitano used in Takeshis' and especially Subarashiki Kyujitsu, to an melancolic calm as in Dolls. While Kitano's films often are very isolated to Japan and japanese influences, the trailer reveils a clip, where Kitano is reading a book about the painter Jean Michael Basquiat, which may suggest this to be a futher step into the soul and mind of Kitano as an artist.

Regardless, this is a most beautiful trailer, which suggest a very warm, funny and thoughtful film by Kitano. Be sure to check it out.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Office Kitano
Kitano hailed in Moscow
Saturday, June 21, 2008

On the opening day for the 30th Moscow International Film Festival, Kitano Takeshi was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Kitano is here shown on the red carpet with the chairman of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia and film director Nikita Mikhalkov.

At an award ceremony, Kitano said he is happy to receive the award in Russia, a country with history and traditions that have produced many forms of arts. It is the first time Kitano attended the Moscow festival. Kitano?s films have been gaining popularity in Russia in recent years due partly to a Japanese boom in the country. Kitano plans to speak at a press conference on Friday the 27th.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Japan Today
Lifetime achievement award for Kitano
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
As part of the opening ceremoni, the 19th of June, at this years Moscow Film Festival, Kitano Takeshi will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

On the festival's website, the russian film critic Anton Dolin summons up what Kitano is to him, which amongst other things are...

Takeshi Kitano is a unique phenomenon of cinema. A super-nova that appeared in the European and then in American sky in the mid-1990s and is still unbearably bright. He is not an adherer to some style, not a romantic or post-modernist. He is not a na?ve artist and not an addict of Asian extreme. He is merely Takeshi Kitano. [Anton Dolin]

In addition, six of Kitano Takeshi's films will be shown during the festival at the Multiplex Cinema October.

Sonatine - June 20th
Dolls - June 21st and 24th
Violent Cop - June 21st
Zat?ichi - June 22nd
Hana-Bi - June 23rd
Glory to the Filmmaker! - June 26th

Read more about the Moscow Film Festival and Kitano on the festival site.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Moscow Film Festival
Akiresu to Kami
Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday the 9th of April, Kitano Takeshi unveiled his latest film, at a press conference at at the Nikkatsu studio in Tokyo, titled Akiresu to Kami, translated: Achilles and the Tortoise.

Kitano stars as a talentless-but-dedicated artist, who plugs along with the support of his long-suffering wife and their kids. As such, Kitano continues the thematic exploration of the artist he began with Takeshis' in Akiresu to Kami, commenting that even people without talent should live for all they're worth, facing reality, and Kitano continued, that "it's a story about the harshness of the artistic life."

The script, also by Kitano, was inspired by what he described as his own idiotic paintings that had piled up. "I thought, why not use them in a movie?", Kitano explained during the press conference, and went on to criticized the many Japanese pics based on novels, TV dramas and other source materials as lacking originality. "A film should be made from an original script," Kitano pointed out.

The shooting of Akiresu to Kami began on February 10th and is scheduled to wrap in mid-April. Release is set for this fall. Kitano is also eyeing a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where he had his greatest triumph, winning a Golden Lion for his cop drama Hana-Bi in 1997.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Variery Asia
My fist movie
Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pathenon just released the book "My first movie: Take Two", where Stephen Lowenstein interviews ten directors - Richard Linklater, Richard Kelly, Alejandro Gonz?lez I??rritu, Shekhar Kapur, ?mir Kusturica, Agn?s Jaoui, Lukas Moodysson, Terry Gilliam, Sam Mendes and Takeshi Kitano - talk about the struggles and rewards of making their first film.

Each chapter is devoted to a particular director and his or her debut -Slacker, Donnie Darko, Amores Perros, Jabberwocky, American Beauty and Violent Cop - and reveals telling details about the inside story of the film-making process: from writing the script to raising the money, from casting actors to gathering the crew, from shooting to editing, and, finally, screening the film.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Random House
Glory at London Film Festival
Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fans, who missed Glory to the Filmmaker at Cannes and Venice, will be able to see it at the London Film Festival.

Thursday, October 18th, Glory to the Filmmaker will be screened twice at the Odeon:

Thu 18 Oct 13:00, Odeon - West End 1 - admission: ?7.00
Thu 18 Oct 18:30, Odeon - West End 2 - admission: ?11.00

Tony Rayns describes Glory to the Filmmaker as "prodigiously inventive."

More information about Glory to the Filmmaker and London Film Festival on BFI's LFF site.

Henrik Sylow | Source: BFI
New books on Kitano
Friday, September 14, 2007

Two new books about Kitano Takeshi has recently been published.

The first is "Takeshi Kitano" by Luis Miranda, published by Ediciones Catedra, and is according to the author, "an interplay between a general discussion on the evolution of Japanese Film Western critics' approach, and the specific analysis of Kitano's film style."

The second is "Takeshi Kitano" by Aarow Gerow, published by British Film Institute. Gerow, who is Assistant Professor of Japanese Cinema, Yale University, explores the issues of auteurship and stardom in the films of Kitano Takeshi, especially as they relate to problems of personal and national identity in a Japan confronting an age of globalization.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
When a genius is misunderstood
Monday, September 10, 2007

Alongside giving name to the Venice International Film Festival's new "Glory to the Filmmaker" award, Kitano's Kantoku Banzai (Glory to the Filmmaker) also became the subject to a different kind of honor.

Every year at the Venice festival, ordinary movie-goers can scribble their views on a popular public notice board called ?Give Us Our Money Back?. This year, the most panned film on the board was Glory to the Filmmaker, which recieved very unkind words along the way. One viewer left the address and telephone number of a doctor ?specialising in psychiatric problems and other serious diseases?, recommending Kitano go and see him, while another wrote him a letter: ?Dear Takeshi, I just want to ask you: Why??

Similar reactions also accompanied Takeshis' in 2005, despite it being Kitano's most experimental film and his most accomplished film to date. Audiences and critics were confused about it not being another Hana-bi or Zatoichi, to which Kitano later commented, "Sometimes, it is good to be confused."

Whatever reactions, Glory to the Filmmaker shows, that you never know where Kitano will take us, but regardless of where, he will always be 500% pure Kitano.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Reuters
Kitano recieves award in Venice
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Kitano became the first to recieve the Venice International Film Festival's new "Glory to the Film Maker!" award.

Named after Kitano's latest film, the award is given filmmakers, for their career, achievements and innovations within cinema.

Kitano was deeply moved, and commented, "I'm really grateful. I'm glad that the name of my work will remain in the form of an award."

Henrik Sylow | Source: Mainichi
Boy translated into English
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Vertical publishing, who according to their profile, "...translates the best contemporary Japanese books.", relased Kitano's "Boy", originial title "Shounen", August 14th

Translated by David James Karashima, "Boy" contains three stories on childhood, coming-of-age and adolescence. The first, "The Champion in a Padded Kimono", is about boyhood rituals of friendship between two boys. The second, "The Nest of Stars", is about how two brothers deals with the death of their father and their mothers new boyfriend. The third and last, "Okeme-san", deals with a nerdy teenager who meets a girl.

Donald Richie reviews the book and comments on Kitano in Japan Times.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Vertical publishing
Glory to the Master
Friday, August 17, 2007

Showing Kantoku Banzai (Glory to the Filmmaker) out of competition in Venice, Kitano is also showing it at this years TIFF, as part of their Masters programme, which exhibits new works by the world's most established and renowned filmmakers.

Screening times and place will be available on the TIFF website from Tuesday, August 21, 2007, after 12:00pm.

Henrik Sylow | Source: TIFF 2007
Kantoku Banzai at Cannes
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Kitano's 13th feature Kantoku Banzai, translated meaning "Hurray for the director", will have its world premiere at this years Cannes Film Festival.

Starring Keiko Matsuzaka, Toru Emori, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Akira Takarada, Ann Suzuki, Yuki Uchida and Yoshika Kimura, Kitano plays a hapless film director in search of a commercial hit, while suffering failure after failure as he tries out different genres. About the plot, Kitano comments, that it is, "...a cinematic extension of his manzai comedy routines that continues in much the same vein as his last feature." Mark Schilling suggests it to be a mish-mash of genres, from swashbukler to Ozu drama.

The official Japanese premiere of Kantoku Banzai will be June 2nd.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Kitano shooting short-film for Cannes
Saturday, March 10, 2007

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, Kitano is one of thirty-five directors from twenty-five countries, asked by Cannes organisers to contribute a film, three minutes or shorter, on the theme of a "motion-picture theatre" for the anniversary.

The concept is "...reuniting a group of creators - all universally famous - who represent both their countries and a proud conception of cinema, for a stroll around a unique theme, springboard for their inspiration ...their current state of mind as inspired by the motion-picture theatre.", according to Cannes director Gilles Jacobs, who further notes, that none of the directors has any knowledge of what the other directors are making, neither about what fragment they are making or about what subject.

On this, Kitano jokingly commented, ""What happens if other directors are thinking about the same things as I am?"

The involved directors are are Theo Angelopoulos, Olivier Assayas, Bille August, Jane Campion, Youssef Chahine, Chen Kaige, Michael Cimino, Ethan & Joel Coen, David Cronenberg, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Manoel De Oliveira, Raymond Depardon, Atom Egoyan, Amos Gitai, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Alejandro Gonzalez I?arritu, Aki Kaurismaki, Abbas Kiarostami, Kitano Takeshi, Andrei Konchalovsky, Claude Lelouch, Ken Loach, Nanni Moretti, Roman Polanski, Raoul Ruiz, Walter Salles, Elia Suleiman, Tsai Ming Liang, Gus Van Sant, Lars Von Trier, Wim Wenders, Wong Kar Wai and Zhang Yimou, and the entire collection of short-films will be screened at the festival on May 20, 2007.

Henrik Sylow | Source: M&C
Kitano to shoot film in Russia?
Wednesday, March 07, 2007

According to the general director of Russian production company Top Line Production, Sergei Gribkov, he has been negotiating with Kitano about one or more projects. 

However, no news on how it fell out, whether or not there will be a collaboration, and if any, how many films and thus further.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Russia IC
Danish Kitano box in March
Monday, February 19, 2007
Kitano's most celebrated film, Hana-bi, was during the sites blackout released in Australia in a new edition.

Another World Entertainment will in March 2007 release a DVD box, containing Violent Cop, Boiling Point and Sonatine.

First time ever to be released in Denmark on DVD, the DVDs are ported from the Australian Madman masters. There are currently no info on specs, except that Jesper Moerch is preparing a booklet, but details on DVDs is to be assumed the same as on the Madman releases, with the exception of subtitles, which will be in the Scandinavian languages.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Another World Entertainment
Shonen translated into English
Monday, July 10, 2006
Vertical recently announced their acquisition of the rights to publish Shounen (aka Boy) by Kitano Takeshi. Originally published in 1992 by Shinchosha, Shounen is a collection of three short stories exploring the coming-of-age of three adolescent boys.

The first story is about a ten year old who despite excelling at schoolwork cannot shrug off his younger brother's superiority in sports. When he finally gets a chance to show off his athleticism, he gets excited despite himself. The second story is about a twelve year old who has just moved into a new city with his brother. They consider themselves fledgeling "astronomers," but the new schoolmates make fun of how cheap and low-quality their telescope is. The third story is about a 16 year old boy with a penchant for history. He makes a solo trip to Kyoto, only to run into a modern-day hood rat at his hotel. He becomes immersed with her gang and ends up giving them all his money.

Shounen (Boy) will be translated by noted Haruki Murakami-translator Alfred Birnbaum, for Summer 2007 release.
Henrik Sylow | Source: Active Anime
Madman releases Dolls on DVD
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Kitano's most celebrated film, Hana-bi, was during the sites blackout released in Australia in a new edition.

Following their release of Hana-bi in October, Madman has now released Dolls on DVD.

Part of their Director's Suite series, which covers important directors and releases from around the world, Dolls is being released in a 1.85:1 anamorphic format, with 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese sound and English subtitles.

As additional material, interviews with Kitano, Yamamoto and the actors, behind the scenes and 2002 Venice Biennale footage, a stills gallery and a 20 page booklet by Henrik Sylow of KitanoTakeshi.Com has been included.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano News
Kitano awarded Galileo 2000 Prize
Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Last sunday, Kitano Takeshi was awarded the Galileo 2000 Prize in Florence.

The Galileo prize is annually awarded to artists who contribute to cultural development and world peace.

Kitano was awarded for his contribution to film art, being one of the leading figures in international cinema since he won the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion with Hana-Bi in 1996.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Yomiuri Shimbun
Takeshis' at ?stanbul Film Festival
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Takeshis' will also be screened at the 25th International ?stanbul Film Festival. The film will have both English and Turkish subtitles.

Saturday 1. April - 19.00 - BEYOĞLU
Monday 3. April - 11.00 - SİNEPOP
Wednesday 5. April - 19.00 - ATLAS

Thanks to T?mer Topal for the news

Henrik Sylow | Source: IKSV
Takeshis' at NatFilm
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Part of the Japanese program of this years NatFilm festival in Copenhagen, Denmark, Takeshis' will be screened on three times. Kitano is a festival favorite in Denmark and broke the audiencerecord with Zatoichi former year.

Friday 31. March - 22.00 - CinemaxX
Saturday 1. April - 22.30 - Empire Bio
Sunday 2. April - 16.40 - Dagmar

Henrik Sylow | Source: NatFilm
Takeshis' CD in November
Friday, January 27, 2006
Kitano's latest film Takeshis' will be screened at this years International Film Festival of Rotterdam.

Friday 27. January - 22.15 - Luxor
Monday 30. Januay - 22.15 - Lantaren 2
Tuesday 31. January - 16.30 - Path? 3

About Takeshis' the IFFR write: Kitano does what he likes. After the success of Zato?chi, he presents a subversive exercise that holds the middle line - in as far as there is a middle line - between his own rain-of-bullets cinema ? la Sonatine, sublime banalities ? la Getting Any? and Fellini's Otto e mezzo. So it's a mocking, almost surrealist film about the star Kitano, his oeuvre and his failed alter ego.

Henrik Sylow | Source: IFFR
Sonatine Limited Edition from Korea
Friday, January 27, 2006

​A limited edition DVD of Sonatine was released in Korea, December 21. 2005.

Aspect ratio is 1.85:1 (16x9), sound is 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese, and it comes with Japanese, Korean and English subtitles. Of additional material it offers a special message from Kitano Takeshi, a 12 page handbill, trailer, photo gallery and an audio commentary by a Korean critic.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano Takeshi .Com
Kitano on Takeshis' and next film
Monday, November 07, 2005

Following the premiere in Japan, where Takeshis' was released in 153 cinemas, Kitano spoke at a press conference, during which he openly doubted that many critics would both understand or fully analyse Takeshis', and noted upon his intentions with both film and form, "What I aimed at is an abstract film, which more or less pertinent to Cubism. In order to depict that very idea, I believed that crisscrossing the time axes would work so that the viewers imagine in their head the whole jigsaw puzzle like image of the film."

Kitano continued, "I made so many sequences which only those who know my cinema intimately can understand. Those sequences are like gifts and my appreciation to them who have watched my previous works."

Later, Kitano found time to reflect upon his own style, especially his use of violence, which he so often has been quoted for and in Takeshis' makes fun of, "I am really tired of making film which aims at depicting realistic violence. The formalistic aesthetic violent in Takeshis' is something like Bob Dylan plays acoustic guitar instead of electric guitar."

At the end of the press conference, Kitano briefly talked about an idea, which may or may not become his next film. Himself a part of that generation, Kitano is thinking about making a film about being a boy during the 1960's, which he in so many words noted upon as with, "I am thinking of my next film which will be about the childhood of my gereration."

Takeshis' has been sold to more than 40 countries outside of Japan.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Asahi
Hikari - Kitano's fifth autobiographical book
Sunday, November 06, 2005

Following Yosei (My remaining years), Kodoku (Alone), Jikou (Prescription), and Igyo (Odd-Looking), the fifth of the autobiographical interview books by Kitano, Hikari (Light), was released in Japan, November 5th, 2005.

The book is divided into eight chapters, discussing acting, music, leisure time, readers, being a craftsman, traveling, generations and concluding with the present and the future.

Especially interesting are the chapters on acting, where Kitano talks about his acting in Chi to Hone, on music, where Kitano discusses what music is to him as a person and what music is to him as a director, and the chapter on leisure time, where Kitano talks about when it will be time to let Beat step back and get a rest.

Hikari is published by Rockin' On in Japan. See more details in the book section.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Kitano News
Hana-bi in Madman's Directors Suite
Monday, October 24, 2005

Kitano's most celebrated film, Hana-bi, was during the sites blackout released in Australia in a new edition.

Released under the banner of Directors Suite, which covers important directors and releases from around the world, Madman carried over the transfer from their previous 2003 release and added the 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack. Additional material consists of a trailershow, the Making Of featurette, subtitled in English, and an essay by Henrik Sylow.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Madman
Takeshis' Japanese Premier
Monday, October 24, 2005

As planned, the Japan Premier Screening of Takeshis', a very experimental film where the real and illusionary world crisscross one another with the hugely famous and talented 'Beat' Takeshi and the small time actor Takeshi Kitano, was held October 20th, at Tokyo International Forum in Japan.

Before the screening, Kitano, with Beat Kiyoshi and other Kitano actors such as Osugi Ren and Kishimoto Kayoko, welcomed the lucky chosen audiences and media with a speech.

The speech began with Kitano Takeshi as a director, amongst other noting upon the many roles. Most actors in the film acts more than 2 characters and Beat Kiyoshi, who was on stage greeting the audience before screening, did 5 characters. Takeshi told Kiyoshi that his roles were too small to identify... then suddenly Kitano and Kiyoshi did some improvisational skit as Two Beats, under which Kitano did the famous Comaneci pose with Beat Kiyoshi. Planned or not, that is what Takeshis' about to me.

The official theatrical release of Takeshis' in Japan will take place November 5th.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Sponichi
Kitano Takeshi .Com Back Online
Friday, October 21, 2005

Due to unforseen problems with the sites former host, I decided to change to a new host and server per September 26, 2005. Because of this and technical issues surrounding moving domains, the site was down and first today, October 21, 2005, everything (almost everything) is back in working order.

There are still minor issues, which needs attention, such as the forum currently not working and newsdates. But the main thing is, that the site is back up and available for its many readers.

I would like to thank for the many letters from concerned readers. It is nice to know, that so many take an active interest in the site and just aren't passive users.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano Takeshi .Com
Takeshis' CD in November
Saturday, September 17, 2005

Coinciding with the official Japanese premiere, the soundtrack from Takeshis' will be released November 2nd, 2005, in Japan. While Japanese online-stores at the moment provide no details on individual musical numbers on the CD, nor the coverdesign, it has since yesterday been possible to preorder the CD.

The CD will cost Yen 2800 (price may vary) and will contain the score composed by Nagi, scratches by DJ Hanger, songs by Hirohumi Suzuki and Akihiro Miwa. For complete tracklist, see here.

On Takeshis' official soundtracks special website, you can find details on Naga, DJ Hanger and Miwa, an interview with Naga and more.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Takeshis' OST Special Website
Takeshis' surprise in Tokyo
Friday, September 16, 2005

Before its official Japanese premiere, November 3rd, 2005, some lucky Japaneses will have a chance to watch Takeshis' before everyone else.

On October 13th, at 12:00, Office Kitano and Tokyo FM is having an invitation only surprise premiere in Tokyo, where Kitano will introduce the film and afterwards have a Q&A.To get an invitation, once has to apply by name, age and occupation. Of those applying, groups will them be selected and invitet. Then a week later, on October 20th, at 19:00, Office Kitano will hold the first official test screening of Takeshis', and then finally, on November 3rd, the official Japanese premiere.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: TFM
Takeshis' and Chi to Hone at LFF
Thursday, September 15, 2005

During this years London Film Festival, two films starring Kitano Takeshi will have their UK premiere.

The first is Yoichi Sai's Blood and Bones, where we follow the life of Korean immigrant Shunpei, played by Kitano, over almost six decades. By Mark Schilling called, "The best film to come out of Japan this year.", it won best film of the year from Nikkan Sports Film Awards, Mainichi Awards, and topped the Eiga Geijutsu poll. Kitano himself was awarded the Tokyo Sports Film Award, Nikkan Sports Award, Mainichi Award and Kinema Junpo Award, for best actor. As critics noted, "The performance he was born to play."

Blood and Bones will be screened at the National Film Theatre, October 22nd at 20:45, and October 24th at 13:00. More info here.

The second film is Takeshis', Kitano's latest film, where Kitano plays both the famous director / actor / comedian Beat Takeshi, and his doppelg?nger Kitano Takeshi, who begin to dream of being Beat and with it, the storyline, as Tony Rayns so eloquently puts it, "...fracture into a world of infinite chances and choices." Takeshis' is both Kitano's most experimental film and his most accomplished film to date.

Takeshis' will be screened at the Odeon West End, October 25th at 20:30. More info here.

Henrik Sylow | Source: LFF
No Gold for Takeshis' in Venice
Sunday, September 11, 2005

Many were disappointet that it wasn't Takeshis' which was awarded with this years Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. After the Golden Lion for Hana-bi in 1997 and the Silver Lion in 2003 for Zatoichi, quiet many had hoped that this year would be the third strike for Kitano.

Instead the award for best film went to Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, a tale of homosexual love in the wilds of Wyoming, beating the critics favorite, George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck. The Silver Lion for best direction went to Philippe Garrel and Les Amants Reguliers, an austere story of love in bohemian Paris after the May 1968 riots. See complete list at Award Watch.

Kitano had surprised everyone by his last minute entry into the competition, and after a few days of press in Venice, he returned home to Tokyo, Monday, September 5th, for the nationwide elections. Kitano was caught at Narita Airport by the press, who had many questions about the confused reception in Venice, but according to Nikkan Sport, Kitano only had one comment, "Sometimes, it is good to be confused."

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Nikkan Sport
Takeshis' go Vancouver
Thursday, September 08, 2005

Under the banner of Dragons and Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia, Takeshis' will be screened at the 24th Vancouver International Film Festival, which will take place in Vancouver between September 29th and October 14th, 2005.

For screening dates and times, check out the official VIFF site. The link also allows you to order a ticket.

Henrik Sylow | Source: VIFF 05
ARTE interviews Kitano
Tuesday, September 06, 2005

During his recent visit in Venice with Takeshis', Arte TV interviewed Kitano and their almost 20 minute interview is now available online in real format.

You can access the video interview directly here or chose the site using the location link just below in the newsbox.

You can also find the link amongst the Takeshis' links which just has been updated.


Henrik Sylow | Source: Arte TV
Takeshis' hits Venice
Sunday, September 04, 2005

Shrouded in much secrecy, Kitano's latest film Takeshis' came to Venice as a last minute entry to the competition, along with director Kitano himself and his usual entourage from Office Kitano.

Takeshis' had its official world premiere Thursday the 2nd of September at 8pm at the festival's main venue, the Sala Grande, but had earlier the same day been shown for a selected press at a surprise press screening. Both screenings were poorly recieved and applause was sparse.

Afterwards Kitano talked to the Japanese press,

"Today I saw the film again and it's terrible. 'Who the hell made this?' I thought to myself."

Kitano joked and continued,

"I set out to make a strange, groundbreaking film, and I think it succeeds, but it feels like I made a car that was so fast I couldn't drive it and fell out. If I win the Grand Prix, it must mean I'm nearing death, so I don't need it.

This period is over. Next time I'm going to make an orthodox film in the style of the masters and then maybe I'll win

A complete list of articles and interviews on Takeshis' is available here

Henrik Sylow | Source: Yahoo [Japan]
Takeshis' in Paris
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Before Kitano made his surprise visit and last minute entry of his latest film Takeshis' into the competion at the Venice Film Festival, he made a detour to Paris, where an invited audience, Wednesday the 31th of August, were allowed to see the film before anyone else.

After the screening at the luxurious Club Marbeuf, I took a walk up Champs Elysees, before meeting Kitano for an interview. It was the hardest interview I ever have done, partly because the film was so unusual and fragmented, partly because everything had been shrouded in so much secrecy, that I only had limited information to prepare upon and finally because the film was so complex in nature, that a mere hour wouldn't get one anywhere.

The interview with Kitano is readable here and details about the film, Kitano's personal comments and a brief catalogue of the film is readable here.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano Takeshi .Com
Kikujiro on Region 2 UK
Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Originally to be released May 24th 2004, Path? UK was forced to postpone due to technical problems. But now after over one year of waiting, they finally solved everything and are releasing Kikujiro on Region 2 DVD in the UK.

Being a mere DVD5, the film is presented in its OAR of 1.85:1 without anamorphically encoding; thus no 16x9, but mere 4x3. Sound is 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese and there are English subtitles. There will be no extra materials, not even a trailer.

This may disappoint many, especially after waiting so long for a UK Region 2 release. It is also a surprising decision by Path? UK, as all releases of Kikujiro on DVD since 2002 has been on DVD9 in 16x9.

Kikujiro from Path? UK will be released September 26, 2005.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano News
Shoko returns to the screen
Saturday, July 30, 2005

Kitano Shoko returns to the screen after 8 years, as a social challenged woman in Yugengaisha Hikimodoshi. Her last role was as the girl with the kite in Hana-bi.

Directed by Hata Taisuke, the story deals with Kyosuke (Kobayashi Kensaku), who works for a company which takes care of people who have secluded themselves from society, and who in the line of work meets Kimiko (Kitano Shoko), who is a reclusive young woman. Osugi Ren has a small part as a homeless man.

The independent production by independent filmmaker Hata Taisuke, began in April 2003, but was delayed by the pregnancy of Shoko.

Yugengaisha Hikimodoshi will premiere September 10th, 2005, most likely in the Ikebukuro Theatre in Tokyo.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Yomiuri
Time Out'ed
Friday, July 29, 2005

I can't help feeling proud somehow, because as of October 6th, 2005, Kitano Takeshi .Com will be part of the web directory in Time Out Film Guide.

My aim with the site was and always will be to broaden the attention about Kitano Takeshi. Even now, after Zatoichi, a film seen by more than all his previous films combined, my guess is that less than 1% of the general audience is aware of his films.

Worse, even amongst scholars Kitano is still both unknown and unappreciated. So even though being part of the web directory isn't that big a deal, it is still a small step towards more people becoming aware of this great master of cinema.

Time Out Film Guide 2006 will hit the streets October 6th and can be preordered on Amazon [UK].

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano News
The Takeshi Kitano Collection
Friday, July 29, 2005

Better late than never, would also be a good heading for this news, as I've been postponing it since March, as one thing lead to another, and before I knew it, July was upon me, before I was able to report on it fully. Sorry for the delay.

The Australian company AV Channel began their search for new masters back in June 2004 in order to create new anamorphic transfers, worked on them over the winter and then in March, they released Violent Cop as the first DVD in their "Takeshi Kitano Collection". An important release, as this is the first ever 16x9 transfer with English subtitles of this film; "Finally" and "About time" comes to mind, but all good things to those who wait.

The release was followed up by Boiling Point in April and will be continued with Sonatine in August. Fireworks, Kikujiro and Dolls are currently being planned and prepared.

Based upon Shochiku masters, these are anamorphic OAR transfers with new 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese sound and English subtitles. There are no extras other than the theatrical trailer. It is important to note, that there are the only stand alone OAR and anamorphic DVDs with English subtitles available of these films.

They all are available thru EzyDVD and cost AUS$29.95 (US$23).

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano News
Mes reviews Blood and Bones
Monday, July 25, 2005

"The words "sprawling" and "epic" quickly come to mind when a film that runs 144 minutes and covers six decades is under discussion, but the irony here is that Sai greatly restricts the scope of his film."

So begins the Midnight Eye review of Sai's Blood and Bones (originally Chi to Hone), where Tom Mes amongst other discusses the repetive nature of Kitano's character, by Mes noted as an "...overwhelming central performance", and why it is a quality, before concluding,

"With this portrait of people that history forgot, Sai proves himself the heir to that other great champion of the downtrodden, Kinji Fukasaku.",

thereby continuing the critical acclaim of this film and of Kitano's performance.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Midnight Eye
Grandpa Kitano Again
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Being bless with a grandchild from his daughter Shoko in March, Kitano will be blessed again in August , this time from his son Atsushi and his wife Takada Yuko.

Atsushi Kitano had been dating tv talent Takada Yuko, who at the moment is pregnant in the 8th month, for five years before marrying her this summer. Takeda is part of Office Kitano.

Kitano was happy to announce the event and the marriage.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Sanspo
Blood and Bone comes to France
Friday, June 24, 2005

Having been shown at the Deauville Asian Film Festival in March, and the Dejima Japanese Film Festival in May, Sai Yoichi's Chi to Hone will have its first premiere for a general audience in France, July the 20th.

Being released under the international title Blood and Bones, the film is based upon one of the biggest bestsellers in Korea - the Yamamoto-Syugoro prize winning novel "Chi to Hone" by Yang Sogiru (Sogil Yan) - and tells the story the story about Yang Sogiru's father, Shunpei, who was amongst the first generation Koreans to live in Japan.

One of the best Japanese films of 2004, it was especially the acting of Kitano which impressed viewers and critics alike. The French trailer can be seen here, displays more of Kitano's great acting than the Japanese trailers.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano News
First Anniversary
Thursday, June 16, 2005

What began as a small fanpage out of the frustration, that there wasn't any English language site about Kitano Takeshi on the internet, which had more information than a listing of his films and brief comments, can today not only celebrate its first anniversary, but also celebrate being the largest and most visited website on Kitano Takeshi on the internet. Called "The most authoritative online resource on Kitano Takeshi" by Japan Zone, the site very quickly was recognised, being quoted, linked and referenced, and grew daily, attracting more and more fans. Thus today, the site has passed the 2 million hits mark. Not bad for its first year.

All this could never have happend without the generous support by other professionals. I would especially like to thank Tony Rayns, as he was the first to allow the site to reprint his articles and interviews. His goodwill opend the doors for others, which in terms have allowed fans from around the world to appreciate Kitano Takeshi in ways not previously possible. But I would also like to thank the following people and companies for the assistence, goodwill and support:

Catherine Cadou, Michel Ciment, Jean-Michel Frodon, Aaron Gerow, Jim Hoberman, Justin Howlett, Dave Kehr, Martin Lang, Sunyoung Lee, Richard Lormand, Josh Martin, Toyoshi Matsumoto, Stephen Pizzello, Tony Rayns, Donald Richie, Mark Schilling, Tim Smedley, Gavin Smith, Lisa Tagliaferri, Gary Tooze, Trond Trondsen, Ryuichiro Tsutsumi, Matthew Turner, Maxwell Williams and Sato Yuu

Angkor Verlag, Arlea Press, Artificial Eye, Bandai, Cahier du Cinema, Concorde Filmverleih, DreamQuest, Il Castoro, Kaya Press, Madman, Miramax, Mitchell Beazley, Octupus Publishing, Optimum, Panorama, Positif, Sandrew-Metronome, Seville, Stone Bridge Press, Tartan, Tokion and Wallflower Press

I would also like to thank Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp of Midnight Eye and Todd Brown of Twitch for their support and goodwill. I would also like to thank my co-newseditor and Japanese translator Ryuichiro Tsutsumi for helping making the site even better, and Tobias Nielsen for websupport. And finally I would like to thank all the fans, whos letters really make it all worth it.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano News
The Birth of a Guru
Friday, June 10, 2005

The French publishing house Deno?l has just published one of Kitano Takeshi's novels, "Naissance d'un gourou". Translated, "The Birth of a Guru".

Translated by Karine Chesneau, it is the story of Kazuo, who after losing his job and his girlfriend, becomes a member of a religious sect, which he soon discovers is a scam. But before he knows it, fate takes a turn.

The book is in French, 224 pages and soft-cover.

Thanks for Garion for the news.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Le Editions Deno
Yakuza Cinema. Crisantemos y dragones
Monday, May 30, 2005

The Spanish publishing company Calamar Ediciones has just published the book "Yakuza Cinema. Crisantemos y dragones", the first Spanish book on yakuza cinema.

Written by Carlos and Daniel Aguilar, who also wrote the book "Bizzare Cinema: Japanese Ero Gro & Pinku Eiga 1956-1979", the book begins with a detailed historical account of the yakuza, from the 15th century up until today, then shifts its focus on yakuza cinema, from its very beginning, up thru the sixties and the films with Ken Takakura, the female yakuza, the remodeling of the yakuza genre by Teruo Ishii and Seijun Suzuki, its influence on western cinema (Sergio Leone, Jean-Pierre Melville and Quentin Tarantino), and finally discussing modern auteurs like Takeshi Kitano and Takashi Miike.

The title "Yakuza Cinema - Chrysanthemum and Dragons", is noting upon the tattoos of yakuza.

In Spanish language, complete with over 150 illustrations, filmography, essential bibliography and an introduction written by Ken Takakura.

Thanks to Miguel from Pasadizo.Com for the news.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Calamar Ediciones
500 per cent Kitano ? Nothing to Add!
Monday, May 23, 2005

Kitano is currently shooting his next film. The title will be Takeshis', and the only info about the film is, that it will be "500 per cent Kitano" and that Kitano himself will act in it.

Kitano is expecting the film to be ready for post production in August, and depending on how long the post production will take, it will premiere either in Pusan, Venice or Toronto. The Japanese premiere will be in the autumn of 2005.

For now, no information about the story nor any pictures from the film itself.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Office Kitano
Bootleg Warning on eBay
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

May the 2nd, a bootleg DVD version of Kikujiro was offered on eBay. According to the description on eBay:

This 100% legitimate Region 2 DVD was never released to stores - this is a preview disc that was sent out to the industry.

Not many of the these discs were manufactured, and as stated above, this was never released, making this a highly sort after title that has sold for in excess of ?100.00. Bid now to avoid disappointment!

However, this is not true. According to Lloyd Vanson from Path? UK, "This is not an official release and is probably an illegal disc although I'm not sure where the seller got the disc from."

Originally, Path? UK planned to release Kikujiro May 24th 2004, but the release was postponed due to technical problems, and no preview discs were made. Lloyd Vanson continued, that Path? is planning to release Kikujiro later this year, but so far no date has been set.

Display bootleg on eBay

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano News
A Scene at the Sea on French DVD
Thursday, May 05, 2005

At long last, Kitanos first film produced by Office Kitano, A Scene at the Sea will be released in France.

Presented in a newly digitally remastered version, in original aspect ration of 1.85 (16x9), with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and with French subtitles only, this collectors edition comes with a 56 page booklet, an interview with Kitano Takeshi and an interview with composer Joe Hisaishi.

To be released June the 16th 2005 from HK Vid?o, it will cost ?23,99.

Thanks to Ray and Garion for the news.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano News
Takeshi Kitano, l'impr?visible on DVD
Wednesday, May 04, 2005

In 1999, the French director Jean-Pierre Limosin made Cin?ma de notre temps: Takeshi Kitano, l'impr?visible, a 68-minute documentary on Kitano Takeshi.

Limosin had previously made two such documentaries on Abbas Kiarostami and Alain Cavalier, and in conjunction with making Tokyo Eyes, where Kitano played a minor role, he used the opportunity to interview Kitano for this documentary.

In English, "the unforeseeable one", Limosin shows how the various aspects of Kitanos art (painting, writing, filmmaking and comedian) all affects the other and how Kitano carries elements of his other art over into his films, explains Kitanos motifs, themes and method.

Previously unavailable on DVD, the French company Mk2 releases L'impr?visible May 11, 2005. The DVD, which costs ?23.75 will be in fullscreen, with French dialogue and French subtitles only. No English subtitles.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Mk2
Anego out on DVD in Japan
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Takamori Tatsuichi's yakuza drama Anego, which amongst others has Beat Takeshi in the lead as a yakuza hitman, is being released on DVD by Toei in Japan the 21st of July.

Based on a novel by Fujita Goro, who also wrote the novel for Fukasaku's Graveyard of Honor, the story is a gritty elegy about revenge.

When a yakuza boss is killed by a rival, his widow attempts to murder the rival boss, but is caught and sent to prison. When released several years later, she goes after him again. Expecting this, the yakuza boss has hired a nihilistic hitman to protect himself.

Previously only available on VHS, the DVD is based upon a newly restored digital master, is presented in its original aspect ration (16x9) with originally mono sound. As additional material comes a trailer and photo gallery. There are no subtitles on the DVD.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Toei Video
Kitano in Cuba
Friday, April 22, 2005
The 23 y 12 Theater, in Havana, has been hosting a one-week exhibition of Japanese contemporary cinema this month.

The event, sponsored by the Higher Arts Institute's Media Faculty in conjunction with the Japanese Embassy in Cuba, exhibited seven works by prominent moviemakers from that Asian country, them all shown in Cuba for the first time, which according to critics portray aspects of interest in Japan society.

Amongst the films shown was Sonatine by Kitano Takeshi.

Henrik Sylow | Source: CubaXP
Cinematic Outlaws
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Tokion is often mentioned as the worlds favorite japanese-english bilingual art, fashion, music, culture magazine. The latest issue of Tokion, number 46, features a discussion with some of cinemas "outlaws" about their approach to film.

The rebel directors are Michael Groudy, Gus van Sant, John Waters, Werner Herzog, Kim Jong-Il and Kitano Takeshi.

The first half of the interview is basically stock questions and is not that good, but about half into the interview, Kitano really opens up, begins to reflect on his techniques and things that inspire him.

Kitano very rarely talks about films that influenced him, but here he mentions Cannabis by Pierre Koralnik and The Railroad Man by Pietro Germi as two early films who made a huge impression on him, and says about City of God by Fernando Meirelles, "Wow, this guy does some amazing editing."

He also talks about his frame compositions compared to Kurosawa, and about stupid Americans, who say his films are violent, but themselves blow up an airplane full of innocent people as nothing but entertainment.

While the Kitano interview is very brief, and is far from as deep as the interview of Waters and Herzog, it notes upon some small key issues, important for Kitano fans. Its an interview, where Kitano is very serious and once again champions Getting Any? as his best film.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Tokion
Going to school
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Monday, April 11 2005, the Graduate School of Film and New Media will open its doors. Lead by Kitano Takeshi and seven other directors, each from a different field, the school has accepted 28 students out of 245 applicants.

To note upon the value of film school, director Ogigami Naoko talks about personal experiences and the sitation of Japanese filmstudents today.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Asahi
Cin?-Manga par Takeshi Kitano
Friday, April 01, 2005
"Cahiers du Cin?ma", perhaps the most famous film magasine in the world, began with their issue number 300 a tradition of inviting a grand cin?aste as guest editor for the "double z?ro" issues, beginning with Jean-Luc Godard. The other double-z?ro editors were Wim Wenders (400) and Martin Scorsese (500).

Continuing this tradition, "Cahiers du Cin?ma" invited Kitano Takeshi to be guest editor on their anniversary issue.

Kitano declined the offer, but proposed "Cahiers du Cin?ma" an unique idea, in form of a game to united some of the worlds greatest cin?aste.

Kitano would take 69 pictures, from which the directors then should pick 4 and from them create a storyline. The result became "Cin?-Manga par Takeshi Kitano".

The Cin?-Manga begins with an introduction of the game and the rules, a presentation of all 69 pictures, followed by 14 stories by Kitano himself, and then a story from each of the invited directors: Oliver Assayas, Bertrand Bonello, Catherine Breillat, Arnaud des Palli?res, Arnaud Desplechin, Jacques Doillion, Yervant Gianikian, Angela Ricci Lucchi, Hong Sang-Soo, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Claude Lanzmann, Rithy Panh, Gus van Sant and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

To round it all off, the booklet ends with "Images de Synth?se, mefi?nce", a 12 page conversation with Kitano about cinema and his life, made especially for this issue by Shiguehiko Hasumi.

And as a final personal touch, Kitano created a painting especially for the cover.

"Cin?-Manga par Takeshi Kitano" comes free and exclusively with issue number 600 of "Cahiers du Cin?ma", available from April 6th.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Cahiers du Cinema
Chi to Hone European premiere at NatFilm
Friday, March 18, 2005

Perhaps the most talked about Japanese film of last year, Yoichi Sai's Chi to Hone, gets its Nordic premiere in Denmark.

During this years NatFilm festival, a yearly festival where films which otherwise not would reach Denmark is screened, Chi to Hone has been selected as part of the festivals "Asian Tigers" program.

Last year Zatoichi sat an audience record, so fans of Kitano will hopefully line up for this one aswell.

The film will have three screenings in Copenhagen only:

Empire Bio: April 2nd at 0:15
Palads: April 6th at 21:30
Palladium: April 8th at 0:00

Tickets will cost Dkr 65 and ticketsales have begun at the respectable cinemas.

Henrik Sylow | Source: NatFilm
Grandpa Kitano
Thursday, March 10, 2005

At 1.30am, March 9, 2005, Shoko Kitano gave birth to a babygirl. Her weight is 2170 gram. Her name is being kept secret, as it was the wish of Shoko and her husband.

Kitano, who was tired up by work and thus unable to go to Tokyo, was in contact with the hospital over the phone thruout the birth, and later gave a public statement thru Office Kitano.

"In the last couple of years, people have called me 'dirty mind old guy', but now I've really become. I want to be the real 'dirty mind old grampa' who disgusts people."

Kitanotakeshi.Com would like to extend their best wishes to Shoko, her husband, their newborn daugther, and to 'dirty mind old grandpa' Kitano.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Sanspo
Dolls giveaway at Twitch
Thursday, March 03, 2005
One of the essential news sites on Asian and fanboy cinema, Twitch, is having a giveaway contest. The price is Palm Pictures Region 1 DVD edition of Dolls.

To enter the contest, go to Twitch, where you will find specific details on how to enter.

This contest is limited to entries from within North America and the question one has to answer to participate is: Takeshi Kitano got his start as part of a comedy duo. Who was his partner?

The contest will run until March 18th, after which the two winners will be announced on Twitch.

Thanks to Todd of Twitch for the news.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Twitch
Zatoichi 2 possibly postponed
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Fans may possibly wait another year for Zatoichi 2.

As reported November 3, 2004, Kitano had already in August begun to dye his hair blond, as the contracts for Zatoichi 2 back then was signed. The reason for making Zatoichi 2 was, that Kitano when making the first film had promised Saito, that if it became a huge succes, then he would make a second film.

During the symposium at the Tokyo FilmEx in November 2004, Kitano talked about taking risks vs. making safe films and refered to Zatoichi 2 as an insurence

"If I make what I really want to make and it turns out to be a failure, I'll do Zatoichi 2. It's like an insurance policy. If things don't go well, I can make a claim on my insurance and recover half the cost."

And this may very well be the reason for the possible delay. While Kitano and Saito were discussing the production in January, rumours has it, that Saito now considers postponing, if not has postponed, the production until late 2005. Other reasons may be, that Kitano wants to spend time with his soon to come grandchild and his upcoming professorship.

As fans of Zatoichi eagerly await the follow-up, a possible delay needs reporting.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano News
Takeshi's Special: Extreme Life on the Earth
Sunday, February 20, 2005
February 16, 2005, a media conference for the tv-special "Takeshi's Special: Extreme Life on the Earth" was held in Tokyo.

The tv-special, which will be aired March 9, 2005, at 9am by TBS, is a documentary oriented program, which focuses on people who live in extreme environments in our planet Earth. The program will be shot at the National Science Museum in Aichi, where an international expo will be held on March 25, 2005.

Kitano, who will host the program, told at the conference, that it is a childhood dream come true: "I like to study natural science and anthropology. When I was a child, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I was really interested in studying sharks and turtles, but my mother used to tell me not to study a subject which wouldn't make any money."

Kitano continued, "Despite our cultural and ethnical differences, the basis of human nature are such things as smiling, crying, living, and dying, and is the same all over this planet."

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Sponichi
Kitano lecture in Montreal
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Monday, February 21, 2005, Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, associate professor of East Asian Studies at NYU and author of "Kurosawa: Film Studies and Japanese Cinema", will give a lecture on Kitano Takeshi in Montreal.

The title of the lecture is "Kitano Takeshi and Global Cinema", and the lecture will be held at 3434 Mctavish, (two doors up from the McGill Bookstore), Room 401 (top floor) from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. The lecture is free for all.

Thanks to Thomas Lammarre for the news.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano Takeshi .Com
eBay bootleg warning
Thursday, February 17, 2005
This is a warning. A bootleg version of Kikujiro is currently on sale on eBay. It is sold as a "rare dvd and soundtrack combo", but is infact a Chinese DVD5 bootleg of the film with a copy of the CD along.

The announcement on eBay says, that this DVD is a "rare gatefold release from Bandai Home Video", but the DVD is not mentioned by any other etailers nor Bandai themselves. Furthermore, the DVD contains Chinese subtitles, which never has been part of a Bandai release.

What makes the situation even worse is, that because of the bidding, users have bought this bootleg for a higher price than the original DVD plus CD would cost, as its being promoted as something extraordinary rare.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano Takeshi .Com
Cahiers du Cinema Kitano Cin?-Manga
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
To celebrate their edition number 600, "Cahiers du Cinema", perhaps the most famous film magasine in the world, invited Kitano Takeshi to be guest editor on their anniversary issue.

Kitano declined the offer, but proposed "Cahiers du Cinema" an unique idea, in form of a game to united some of the worlds greatest directors.

Kitano would take 69 pictures, from which the directors then should pick 4 and from them create a storyline. All the storylines would then be part of a little book, "The Kitano Cin?-Manga", which would come free with every issue of "Cahiers du Cinema" number 600.

The "Kitano Cin?-Manga" will also contain an extensive interview of Kitano by Prof. Hasumi, aswell as a special cover painted by Kitano especially for this issue.

This must have issue of "Cahiers du Cinema" will be released, April 6, 2005.

Kitanotakeshi.Com would like to thank Bill Krohn for the news and Jean-Michel Frodon for additional information.

For those interested in seeing the photographs by Kitano and playing the game themselves, here are the pictures. The rules are simple. Pick any 4 pictures, arrange them in any way you see fit and make them into a story.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Cahiers du Cinema
14th Tokyo Sports Film Award
Monday, February 07, 2005
As expected, Chi to Hone took four major awards at the 14th Tokyo Sports Film Awards, yesterday, February 6, 2005.

Best Director: Sai Yoichi
Best Leading Actor: Kitano Takeshi
Best Supportive Actor: Otagiri Jyo
Best Supportive Actress: Tabata Tomoko

Being the president of the jury, Kitano held a speech, and talked to the press about becoming a professor and a grandfather.

About his plans as professor, Kitano pointed out that, "It's not going to be normal lectures, but an oppotunity for me, to tell the students about myself and the way I think."

Kitano continued, "The president of university has given me a full control of my course. And since I believe that filmmaking is not to be taught, I will take my students to Kabuki theatres and strip shows. And if they want to learn about the rhythm of editing, I will teach them how to tap dance."

Finally, as his daughter Shoko is giving birth next month, Kitano commented on her pregnancy, "I spoke with Shoko only a few days ago and she told me, that my future grandchild will be either a son or a daughter, but I cannot tell which at the moment, as Shoko made me promise not to tell anyone."

Henrik Sylow | Source: Sponichi
Chi to Hone tops Eiga Geijutsu poll
Saturday, February 05, 2005
This years Eiga Geijutsu polls have just been released. The poll is made by critics, who give each film points from 1 to 10. The highest and lowest score are then subtracted and the final total points suggest the poll.

Chi to Hone came in second with 97 points, beaten by Yuda by Zeze Takahisa with 98 points. On third place came Nobody Knows by Kore-eda.

Ironically, Chi to Hone was also voted as one of this years worst films, ranking nineth.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano Takeshi .Com
The 47th Blue Ribbon Award
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Yesterday, the 47th Blue Ribbon awards were announced. The award is organized by the group of news journalists called Tokyo Film Journalist Club.

Where Kitano didn't get best actor, Chi to Hone was amongst the ten best films of the year, and best supporting actor went to Otagiri Jyo for his role in Chi to Hone.

Otagiri thanked for the award, "I am very happy to receive this award because I prefer playing a supportive role rather than a main role."

Otagiri only briefly noted upon working with Kitano, when talking about the violence in the film, "I knew I could never hurt Takeshi, but I went into the fights like they were serious."

Related links: Sponichi and Sanspo.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Sponichi
Midnight Eye book review
Monday, January 31, 2005
According to co-writer Tom Mes, "The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Cinema" is an attempt to write the definitive book on today's Japanese film scene. Co-written with Jasper Sharp, both of them founders of Midnight Eye, the book has 19 in-depth chapters devoted to such great names as Takeshi Kitano, Takashi Miike, Shinya Tsukamoto, Studio Ghibli and Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and 97 reviews of contemporary Japanese films.

And it is indeed a great book. It reads astonishing easily and gives a unique perspective on contemporary Japanese cinema thru very informative profiles of key directors and reviews of key films. I certainly is the definitive book on today?s Japanese film scene.

For this reviewer, the chapter on Kitano was the most important. Written by Jasper Sharp, it begins with a brief introduction to the situation of Japanese cinema in the early 90s, from a western perspective, then profiles Kitano by going back and forth between biographical and production technical elements and putting them into perspective by drawing reference to films, books, TV and social elements.

While one could have wished for more specifics, this is by far one of the best profiles on Kitano I have read. It introduced Kitano to the general reader and puts him into context of Japanese cinema.

Complete review in the book section.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Books
Izo in New York
Sunday, January 23, 2005
As a part of the 5th annual Film Comment Selects series, which, "...serves up an eclectic mix of new films championed in the pages of Film Comment magazine over the past six issues", Miike Takashi's Izo will be screened at the Walter Reade Theater, Friday, February 11, at 1.30pm, and again Saturday, February 12, at 4:15pm and 8:30pm.

For more information, check out The Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Film Society of Lincoln Center
Dolls in Vienna
Saturday, January 22, 2005
In collaboration with the Japanese embassy and the Japanese Foundation, the Vienna cinema "Topkino", is holding a Japanese filmweek, January 20 thru 27.

Amongst the many Japanese films, Kitano's Dolls will be screened, Sunday, January 30, 2005, at 12:00 CET, at Topkino. Tickets cost ? 7.

Sadly, this news arrived at my desk to late, as Topkino prior has shown Hana-bi, Brother and Zatoichi.

For more information, contact Topkino.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Topkino
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence Quiz
Saturday, January 22, 2005

Monday, January 24, 2005, Optimum will release their Special Collector's Edition of Oshima Nagisa's 1983 classic Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.

While the film is a classic by it's own rights, it represents a significant point in the career of Kitano Takeshi, as it was his first dramatic part ever, and thus began his long struggle towards becoming and being recognized as a serious actor, which one can say, recently came to an end with the overwhelming critical acclaim and many awards for his performance in Chi to Hone.

In order both to celebrate Kitano as one of Japan's great dramatic actors and the release of this restored masterpiece, Optimum has been so kind to give a copy of the DVD and thus sponsor this years first Kitano quiz.

The quiz consists of 10 questions, some of them multiple. The majority of the questions are directly related to Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. The questions are a bit harder than last time, but most keen fans should have no problems with them. The object is first of all to have fun.

The morning of Tuesday the 1st of February, 2005, I will then pick a winner by random and announce the winner amongst the recieved mails. The prize is a DVD copy of Optimum's Special Collector's Edition Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. Please note, that this DVD is encoded for Region 2.

People associated with Optimum and cannot participate in this quiz.

The quiz can be found here. Enjoy.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitanotakeshi.Com
Mainichi awards for Chi to Hone
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Chi to Hone continues its havesting awards, this time the Mainichi Award as best film.

The Mainichi Awards will be awarded at a ceremony, February 9, 2005, at the Tokyo Shibakoen Tokyo Prince Hotel, but the winners were announced today, January 18.

Chi to Hone won best film, Kitano Takeshi won best actor and Odagiri Jo won best supporting actress. Sadly Sai didn't pick up best director, which went to Kuruki Kazuo for Chichi to Kuraseba. As such, the Mainichi awards voted the same way as The Nikkan Sports awards.

With three best film awards and three awards for best actor to Kitano, not to mention its critical acclaim, Chi to Hone certainly looks like the best Japanese film of the year, and Kitano triumphs without comparison as the best actor of the year, echoing Schilling's comment about this being, "a career-best performance by Takeshi Kitano."

Henrik Sylow | Source: Mainichi
The First Million
Thursday, January 13, 2005
As of this morning, January 13, 2005, has passed one million hits. To be exact: 1.002.740 hits.

Of course, this would not have been possible without you fans, which is why I had to share this event with you.

Thank you, for your support.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano Takeshi .com
Chi to Hone on DVD in April
Sunday, January 09, 2005

Pony Canyon is releasing Chi to Hone on DVD April 6, 2005. The DVD will be Region 2 NTSC Japanese. Price will be Yen 6090 ($ 58).

As Zatoichi, Chi to Hone will come in two editions: A 2-disc limited edition, according to J-Book, full of goodies, and then later in a regular single disc edition.

Presentation will be 1.85:1 (16x9) with 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese sound. At current time no details on English subtitles or what those goodies are.

We will keep you updated about this release, as soon as more info is available.

Henrik Sylow | Source: JBook
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Sunday, January 09, 2005

Oshima's Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence represents something special in the life of Kitano, as it was the first film where displayed his serious side and his abilities as a dramatic actor, and still today it stands as one of his best performances. It became a turning point in his career, which began a long hard road for recognition, which in many ways only recently came to an end, with Chi to Hone.

Originally planned for release November 24th, 2004, the UK company Optimum pushed the release of Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence to January 24th, 2005, due to production issues. And the delay was worth the wait.

The Special Collector's Edition is a newly digitally restored and remastered version, presented in 1.78:1 (16x9), and is virtually flawless. Sound is the originally Japanese and English 2.0 Dolby Digital.

It comes with a 30-minute documentary about the production, and two, for this DVD made, interviews with producer Jeremy Thomas and composer/actor Sakamoto Ryuichi.

Read the review and watch captures from the film on DVD Beaver.

Official release date is January 24, 2005. Etailer: Amazon [UK].

Henrik Sylow | Source: DVD Beaver
Chi to Hone takes Kinema Junpo Award
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Sai Yoichi's Chi to Hone won 4 Kinema Junpo Awards, which is the Japanese equivalent of the American Academy Awards, by taking the awards for best director (Sai Yoichi), best script (Chong Ui-Shin), best actor (Kitano Takeshi) and best supporting actor (Odagiri Joe), Chi to Hone

Chi to Hone also recieved critical acclaim from Kinema Junpo, by being number 2 on the critical top 10, beaten by Kore-eda's Nobody Knows.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano Takeshi .Com
Kitano wins Best Actor award
Monday, January 03, 2005

At the Nikkan Sports Movie Award ceremony, December 28, 2004, Kitano Takeshi was awarded best actor for his performance in Chi to Hone.

In his award speech, Kitano noted upon how much he learned from working with Sai Yoichi,

"The energy of making only one film was very intense... I have to learn from it... and obviously, I'm going to utilize what I have stolen from Sai in my next film."

Where Kitano notoriously never does more than one take, Sai usually does seven or eight, to which he commented, "I need to make an effort making one scene."

Kitano also talked about his future teaching at the university, with his usual wit, "I will offer a special night class which is requirment. It's going be less educational, but a more social form of night education."

Finally, Kitano noted upon how busy a year 2005 would become, with him becoming a grandfather in March, with the university and with future film projects. There are so many new influences, that one really only can look forward to his next film.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Nikkan Sports
Schilling's #1: Chi to Hone
Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Japanese film expert and writer, Mark Schilling, has just published his top 10 of best Japanese films, aswell as briefly commeted on the year 2004 in terms of cinema, in Japan Times.

For those who read his articles and reviews, it comes as no surprise, that his pick for best film of the year thus is Sai's Chi to Hone, as he already in his review November 26, called it "...the best film to come out of Japan this year", aswell as giving it 5 of 5. In his recent comment, Schilling stated, "A career-best film for director Sai, with a career-best performance by Takeshi Kitano."

Leaving Chi to Hone, the rest of the list is impressive and notes upon a great year for Japanese cinema, with films like Kore-eda's Nobody Knows and Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle, but also a film like Kiriya's Casshern.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Japan Times
German Zatoichi DVD from Concorde
Sunday, December 26, 2004

Concorde Home Entertainment will per January 12, 2005, release the German DVD edition of Zatoichi - Der Blinde Samurai, in a "Home Edition".

The film will be presented in 1.85:1 (16x9), with original Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, and additional German 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS. Subtitles are German only.

As additional material, Concorde has added the Making Of documentary, production notes, biographies and trailers.

Suggested etailer: Amazon [DE]

Henrik Sylow | Source: Concorde
New books
Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Perhaps a little too late in time for xmas, there recently has been released two news books of interest for Kitano fans.

The first is The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film, and is, according to co-writer Tom Mes, an attempt to write the definitive book on today's Japanese film scene. Co-written with Jasper Sharp, both of them founders of Midnight Eye, the book has 19 in-depth chapters devoted to such great names as Takeshi Kitano, Takashi Miike, Shinya Tsukamoto, Studio Ghibli and Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and 97 reviews of contemporary Japanese films.

The second book is Eiga Chi to Hone no Sekai, translated The World of Chi to Hone. It consists of three interviews from director Sai Yoichi, scriptwriter Chong Wi-Shing and author Yan Sogil, where they discuss film and production. The book also has the complete shooting script.

Both books are listed in the Books section, with links to etailers.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Books
The Definitive Zatoichi
Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Sadly not released for Christmas, fans will have to wait until January 25, 2005, before they can get their hands on Artificial Eyes second release of Zatoichi. Due to the success of the DVD and access to material not previously available to Artificial Eye, they decided to release a deluxe limited "Collectors Edition" of the film. And while some may think twice about cheering, but Artificial Eye clearly put a lot of love and effort into this edition, which is nothing less than impressive. This is the definitive Zatoichi DVD.

Coming as a 2-disc limited edition, Artificial Eye has removed the "Making of" documentary from the main disc to give space for the very dynamic DTS track. The image is the same as on their previous release.

The documentary thus now is on disc 2, followed by the 48-minute interview collection by the production staff with English subtitles, previously only available on the Panorama 2-disc SE without subtitles. Following these interviews, two interviews with Kitano comes next. The first is the 27-minute interview, previously only available on the French 2-disc Edition Collector, and again it now has English subtitles. The second is a 12 newly recorded interview. Both overlap some, but are highly informative and Kitano is at his best.

The additional material continues with a 30-minute Q/A from the Fnac Master class in Paris, and is completed with filmographies.

The DVDs come in a black metal box with relief of the British poster, a 35mm cell from the film, 3 postcards and a 12-page booklet with newly written introduction by Kitano.

Both review and comparison is available thru DVD Beaver, where there also are links to Amazon.

Thanks to Artificial Eye for making the extra effort to produce a definitive DVD edition of this great film.

Henrik Sylow | Source: DVD Beaver
Kitano best actor of the year
Tuesday, December 07, 2004

On December 3, 2004, Nikkan Sport announced the winners of the 17th Nikkan Sports Film Award.

As many predicted, Chi to Hone took the award for Best Picture and Kitano won the Best Actor award. Additional to that, Suzuki Kyoka won Best Supporting Actress and Otagiri Jo won Best French Actor, both for Chi to Hone as well. Sadly Sai didn't win Best Director. The award for that went to Kuruki Kazuo for Chichi to Kuraseba.

About the awards, Sai commented,

"I am very happy for the fact, that the film has recieved such a wide-ranged critical reception and the award for the best picture,"

and continued about Kitano,

"I never thought about any other actor but Kitano for this film's leading role. If kitano hadn't accepted my offer, I might have given up shooting the film for good."

Originally Kitano only accepted the part, because he felt insecure about his own abilities as an actor, contra to Sai, who knew exactly what Kitano was capable of and waited six years for Kitano to accept the part. Not since Oshima's Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence has a director been so confident about Kitano's abilities as an actor.

However Kitano himself remains rather modest about his performance, and said,

"I don?t think that I have become a better actor, so I'm beginning to think about ways to perform better and about new characters. I don?t know whether I can do acting for a pure love story, but I would like to try, if a good opportunity comes by."

The ceremony and award reception will be held December 28, with a short press conference afterwards.

Read more about Chi to Hone here.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Nikkan Sport
Chi to Hone best film of the year
Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Winner of the Nikkan Sports Film Award as Best Picture, Chi to Hone, and thus also Sai Yoichi and Kitano Takeshi, is now seriously calling for attention.

In the article Close to the Bone, Time Asia calls Sai's Chi to Hone best Japanese film of the year, and Kitano's portrait of Shunpei Kim, "the best performance of an illustrious career."

Having commented on Sai's background, the historial aspects and it's production history of the film, the article rounds up with director Sai Youchi pointing out,

"Takeshi is the only actor I know who's capable of playing such a dark character. I waited six years for him to accept the part, and I wouldn't have made the movie without him.".

Read more about Chi to Hone here.

Henrik Sylow | Source: TIME Asia
Izo on DVD December 22nd
Sunday, December 05, 2004

Miike Takashi's Izo, in which Kitano has a minor part, will possibly be released December 22nd, 2004, in two different DVD editions: A single DVD "Regular Version" and a 2-DVD "Special Edition" by KSS.

The Regular Version will have the full 128-minute version of the film, presented in 1.85:1 (16x9) with 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. As additional material is a 20-minute Making Of documentary and the theatrical trailer. List price is 5040 Yen.

The Special Edition has in addition to the Making Of documentary and the trailer, a 70-minute program called "The secret of IZO" and more. List price is 6090 Yen.

Neither editions have English subtitles and is now available for preorder thru various etailers.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Yodobashi
Chi to Hone drops at the box office
Sunday, December 05, 2004

Having just entered it's 5th weekend, it is doubtful if Chi to Hone stays in Top 10. During it's 4th weekend, it dropped from rank 7 to rank 10 at the box office due to the premiere of The Polar Express, Everyone has secrets and Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow. There is still no data on box office revenue.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Cinemanavi
Kitano to head new faculty
Friday, December 03, 2004

In a follow-up article, Kitano comments on his appointment of professor at Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku's screen production department, which will be newly established in Yokohama. In a press release, Kitano states,

"I have never received any education at all about movies and it may sound funny indeed that I will give people lessons about movies, but I accept the offer convinced, it being a chance to teach young people ways of expression through movies, in my own way, the way I've learned without any formal education."

Accoding to Japan Times, the object of this new screen production department is to foster future directors, scriptwriters and producers, to take an active part in the international film industry, by providing them with provide them with expert knowledge, amongst other things, about artistic expression.

As the head of the faculty of screen production, Professor Kitano will be teaching post graduate students and according to Hirayama Ikuo, the university's rector, "[What he lacks in education] ...he has made up for with international achievements."

Henrik Sylow | Source: China Daily
Professor Kitano - Kitano Sensei
Thursday, December 02, 2004

According to Kyodo News, Kitano Takeshi will be teaching filmmaking at Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku (Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music), starting next April, university sources said Thursday, December 1st.

Kitano also appeared on national TV (Asahi) this evening, confirming the news and adding, that he's not only sennin koshi, a full-timer, but that he is in charge of their production major.

The university is starting up a new Eizo Kenkyuka in Yokohama in April. Besides the film production major, the other two are animation and media eizo, who also hired director Kurosawa Kiyoshi to teach.

It is no secret that Kitano is critical of the filmmaking conditions in Japan. During his talkshow at the IFFR 2004 he even joked, that if he was rich, he would invite new filmmakers to his house and educate them. Now as professor, he will be able at least influence a new breed of screenwriters, producers and directors.

Thanks to Markus Nornes for additional information.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Japan Today
Palm Pictures release Dolls
Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Kitano's beautiful tale of impossible love, Dolls, will from December 10th, 2004, be released theatrically in the USA by Palm Pictures.

Dolls is, to date, Kitano's most complex work, being an adaptation of Japanese playwright Chikamatsu's themes of impossible love and double suicide, comtemporized and told thru three interwoven stories. Breathtaking beautiful in its colour composition, Dolls is amongst the most original films ever to come out of Japan.

Palm Pictures will begin their limited release, December 10th, 2004, at Cinema Village, New York, then continue with three further screenings. The schedule is as follows:

Cinema Village, New York [December 10 to ??] [showtime]

Northwest Film Forum, Seattle [January 21 to 27] [showtime]

Music box, Chicago [February 4 to 10] [showtime]

Museum of Fine Art, Boston [February 10 to 20] [showtime]

Palm Pictures will release Dolls on DVD in the USA during the spring of 2005, no date set at the moment.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Palm Pictures
Schilling on Chi to Hone
Friday, November 26, 2004

During its first week, Sai's latest film, Chi to Hone, or in English Blood and Bones, made more than $500.000 at the box office. Considering being released only on 14 screens in 9 cities, very impressive. No doubt the magnetic charisma of Kitano and the rave reviews did theirs.

And now the words have reaches the masses. Already having given Chi to Hone a rave review (5 or 5) in Japan Times, critic Mark Schilling recently wrote a equally impressive review for ScreenDaily, where Schilling states, that Chi to Hone is, "the best film to come out of Japan this year."

And once again, Schilling has nothing but praise for Kitano, and refers to his acting as, "...a career high for Kitano, who brings a rare intensity and conviction to his starring role", and, "In Shunpei, Takeshi Kitano has found the role he was born for."

While such praise only makes it harder to wait, Chi to Hone, or in English Blood and Bones, already is guaranteed an UK and US theatrical run, as Tartan has picked up the rights.

Schilling's excellent review is available thru ScreenDaily for a few days more. After then, only thru subscription.

Henrik Sylow | Source: ScreenDaily
Directors has to be businessmen
Thursday, November 25, 2004

Having talked about one of several reasons why he will make Zatoichi 2, Kitano began to talk about being a director, especially that a director has to be a businessman.

"Making a film is using someone's money. My advice to them, who want to make money by making film, be businessman!"

Kitano then explained, that once you are a success, everone will try to get a piece of you, everyone will try to con you into making their bad film. Finally, having made many anecdotes, Kitano talked about himself as a director and about feeling inside that one is a director.

"When people call me Kantoku!(Director), I still feel like saying, 'but I am a comedian'. Im still feeling weird about when I got great critical receptions abroad, before feeling like a director."

The entire symposium will be published in a translated for in December on this site.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Yomiuri
Chi to Hone at the box office
Thursday, November 25, 2004

Opening in Japan, November 6th, Chi to Hone entered the box office on fourth position, being pushed down to a seventh this weekend, due to the premiere of Miyazaki's latest film, Howl's Moving Castle.

There are no income data yet, but while we wait for those, the premiere press conference and latest trailer are available to watch on Goo or via Chi to Hone links.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Cinemanavi
New comparisons on DVD Beaver
Thursday, November 25, 2004

Following the review and comparison of Miramax's Sonatine and Zatoichi with other DVD editions, the Korean Enter One DVD of A Scene at the Sea has just been compared aswell.

Henrik Sylow | Source: DVD Beaver
Kitano talks about Zatoichi 2
Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The cat is finally, officially, out of the bag. During yesterdays symposium at the Tokyo Filmex, Kitano openly talked about making Zatoichi 2 and reasons for doing so.

When I spoke with Kitano in January, he told me, that he would like to make a few different sort of films for now, and then, if they fail miserably, he could always go back to his career saving plan of making jidei-geki. While he was allowing himself to jokingly reflect on the huge success of Zatoichi in Japan, he was also addressing the issue of taking risks vs. making safe films.

So it isn't that big a surprise, that Kitano talks about Zatoichi 2 as an insurance. During the symposium, Kitano was asked towards his reasons, to which he answered

"If I make what I really want to make and it turns out to be a failure, I'll do Zatoichi 2. It's like an insurance policy. If things don't go well, I can make a claim on my insurance and recover half the cost."

As reported November 3, there are no news on the actual production yet. Kitano will most likely shoot his next film early spring 2005, but if that will be Zatoichi 2 or the project he has been working on for over a year now, time will tell.

We would like to thank Don Brown for the news.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Merry Christmas, Mister Lawrence
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

In 1983 director Oshima Nagisa offered the comedian 'Beat' Takeshi the part as the sadistic prisonguard in his wartime drama Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. 'Beat', having no real acting experience, played the part beyond experience and was recognized as a talent. But it never became the springboard Kitano thought it to be, and while he did get to act in several dramatic and challenging parts on TV, it took him additional ten hard years to be recognized as a serious artist. By itself a great film, but for Kitano a milestone. Read more about Kitano's acting in the biography.

Originally planned for November 24th, 2004, release, the UK company Optimum has pushed the release of Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence to January 24th, 2005, due to production issues. Optimum was working on getting David Bowie involved, but sadly it never got anywhere.

The Optimum DVD will be presented in 1.85:1 (16x9) with 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and with English subtitles. As additional material there will be the original 'Making of' documentary, text interview with director Oshima Nagisa, trailer, and a new interview with producer Jeremy Thomas.

Those interested can pick it up thru Amazon [UK].

Henrik Sylow | Source: Optimum
The Definitive Zatoichi
Monday, November 22, 2004

Zatoichi, incorporating bonus material that wasn't available during the production of the single disc version.

Some did think twice about cheering, but Artificial Eye clearly put alot of love and effort into this edition, which is nothing less than impressive. The word "Definitive" comes to mind.

The first DVD is film only. The film is made from the same source as the previous DVD, but now has an added the DTS track.

The second DVD is packed to the hilt with additional material. Starting out with two new interviews with Kitano (most likely the same as on the French DVD), continuing with the production team interviews, the Paris Master Class (from the French DVD), a different "Making of" documentary (from the Japanese DVD), stills and poster galleries, trailers and filmographies. In short, almost three hours of extras with English subtitles.

The DVD comes in a embossed tinbox with 3 artcards (most likely the same three miniposters as in the Panorama 2-Disc), a 12 page booklet with production notes by Kitano Takeshi and a numbered 35mm film cell from the film.

This Collectors Edition will be released January 24, 2005, with a listprice of ?29,99.

Those interested can pick it up thru Amazon [UK].

Henrik Sylow | Source: Artificial Eye
Zatoichi in Sweden
Monday, November 22, 2004

Like no other film by Kitano, Zatoichi is the most released to date, with 18 different DVD editions.

Next in line is Sandrew Metronome Sweden's edition, to be released December 1st, 2004, in a single DVD edition. The film will be presented in 1.78:1 (16x9), there will be the choice of 2.0 or 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese sound and the option of Swedish subtitles. As additional material, the edition will contain the standard 'Making of' documentary and production interviews.

For those who still don't have Zatoichi on DVD, check out your local DVD shop or Swedish etailer for this edition. The price is Skr 189.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Sandrew Metronome [Sverige]
Mahjong lessons
Sunday, November 21, 2004

For some, the game Mahjong is a mix of memory and gin-rommy, one plays on his computer to pass the time, much in the same way one plays solitaire. But for others, mahjong is a serious strategy game, to which they have devoted almost their entire life in hope to master it.

More than two thousend years old, Mahjong has the last century developed into one of the most played strategy games, but unlike chess, mahjong has no clearly defined rules, but several forms: National (Chinese, Korean, etc), Classical, Riichi, Million Masters and International, to name a few.

In the book "Mahjong jinkokuki: Korinai 77nin" (The national legend of mahjong: lesson of 77 people), author Taro Nadama has collected 77 episodes of mahjong by 77 famous media personalities in Japan, amongst them Kitano Takeshi, Kurosawa Akira and Akashiya Sanma, who each tell a personal mahjong story.

Those interested can pick it up thru Amazon [Japan].

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Amazon [Japan]
Special Screening of Takeshi Kitano
Sunday, November 21, 2004

Under the title of "Special Screening of Takeshi Kitano", five of Kitano's films will be screened at Seoul Art Cinema, South Korea, from November 22nd to December 2nd.

The screening list is Boiling Point, A Scene at the Sea, Getting Any?, Dolls and Zatoichi. With four screenings a day, each film will be screened five times.

The screening list is interesting, as three of the titles are being released by Enter One under the lable "Takeshi Kitano Collecion", but since both Dolls and Zatoichi already have been released in great editions, the list doesn't hint on whats next.

For those who wish to learn more, visit Cinemateque.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Cinemateque Korea
Monstrous Beat
Thursday, November 18, 2004

To be released December 8th, 2004, "Igyo", meaning monstrous or odd-looking, is the fourth book in a series, following "Yosei", "Kodoku", and "Jikou", dealing with personal sides of Kitano.

Consisting of original topics, exclusively written for this book, Kitano speaks out about things never spoken about earlier. In the chapter Nikutai wo kataru, Kitano talks about his physical training for Chi to Hone. Another chapter Two Beat wo kataru deals with his former partner Beat Kiyoshi, and in Kagaku wo kataru Kitano acknowledges his own personal insight and philosophy toward science.

Those interested can pick it up thru Amazon [Japan].

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Rock Net
Danish Kitano article
Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Danish film magasine"16-9" has just published its November issue and with it the first real feature article ever in Danish about Kitano Takeshi.

The article is the first of several planned articles, where Henrik Sylow attempts to dissect the auteurist elements of Kitano and presenting them to the readers. Being a feature article, it covers several aspects of Kitano's ouevre, amongst them his biography and auteurist periods, as it attempts to reason the self-destructiveness of Kitano during the eighties and to demonstrate how he constructs his films.

The article is in Danish, but for those interested in reading it, it can be found here 16-9

Henrik Sylow | Source: 16-9
Kitano at Tokyo Filmex
Monday, November 15, 2004

For five years now, the Tokyo Film has celebrated independent film from around the world and from November 20 to 28, the Filmex will open its doors for thier anniversary fifth edition at Yurakucho Asahi Hall, National Film Center Hall and Cine Quanon Yurakucho.

Recently Mark Schilling interviewed jury chairman Donald Richie, jury member James Quandt and Festival Director Kanako Hayashi for Japan Times. In the interview, Schilling noted upon the support Kitano Takeshi gave Filmex by sponsering it, thereby using his celebrity status to draw attention to other film.

And speaking of Kitano - He will be back at the Filmex this year, and along with Mori Masayuki, Simon Field and directors Hirokazu Kore-eda and Shinya Tsukamoto, Kitano will discuss the situation of cinema and how to break thru. The symposium will be hosted by Tony Rayns and will take place at Yurakucho Asahi Hall, November 23, at 12:30am.

More info on the official website of Tokyo Filmex.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Tokyo Filmex
Izo on DVD December 22nd
Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Miike Takashi's Izo, in which Kitano has a minor part, will possibly be released December 22nd, 2004, in two different DVD editions: A single DVD film only edition and a 2-DVD special edition by KSS.

While the DVDs are available for preorder at various etailers already, neither KSS nor the official Izo site has any mentioning of the release.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: DVD Nifty
Korean Boling Point
Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Following up on the news from November 4, about the Korean "Takeshi Kitano Collection", the next DVD appears to be Boiling Point.

On the Korean Kitano site, the cover image here shown is posted along with information about film and captures from it aswell.

It thus seems likely, that "Takeshi Kitano Collection Nr. 3" will be an anamorphic edition of Boiling Point, with 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese, English subtitles and a trailer as extra.

Keep looking out for more news on this item.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Kitano [Korea]
Chi to Hone Press Conference
Sunday, November 07, 2004

Following the Japanese premiere of Chi to Hone, November 6th, a press conference was held at the Marunouchi Plazale, Yurakucho, Tokyo, during which Kitano expressed his confidence towards the film, "It was good timing for me and Sai to work together, we collaborated well."

[from left] Kyoka Suzuki, Beat Takeshi, Joe Otagiri

Kitano was serious thruout the entire press conference and did no of his ordinary gags. Towards his acting, he just said "All I did was kicking, punching or fucking someone, I didn't even know what I was doing!"

About the ubiquitous violence in the film, Kitano further commented, "I am sorry if the film overcomes the audience and makes them depressed after watching it."

At this press conference, the distribution company announced, that, thanks to Kitanos world wide recognition, they signed contracts for release in North America and England, aswell as South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore, where Chi to Hone will be released early next year.

Sai did nothing but smile during the press conference and said, "I will drink good sake in a good mood," and daringly continued, "Sai-troupe will conquer the audience in the western contries!"

Chi to Hone is expected to make at least 1500 million yen ($14 million) at the box office.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Sanspo
Kitano 6th most popular tarento
Friday, November 05, 2004

For 23 years, the popularity of media personality, including sports athletes, has been determined thru questionaires, twice a year, February and August.

The Black Devil

And for the 4th time in a row, Sanma Akashiya, has been voted number one and thus the most popular media personality in Japan, scoring 55.1%.

Sanma Akashiya used to pair team with Kitano on the show Oretachi Hyokinzoku, where he played The Black Devil, the archenemy of Takechan-Man.

Kitano came in number six, scoring 48.0%.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Sanspo
Korean Kitano Collection
Thursday, November 04, 2004
The Korean DVD company Enter One has recent released the two first DVDs in their "Kitano Takeshi Collection". So far only two titles has been released, Getting Any? and A Scene at the Sea.

The DVDs are DVD5, presented in 1.78:1 (16x9), 2.0 Original Japanese sound with English and Korean subtitles. As additional material there is only a trailer.

Where Getting Any? already is available in several great editions, A Scene at the Sea comes as a fresh breeze, as except for the Chinese bootleg, no decent editions with English subtitles are available.

Detailed info and link to etailer via the A Scene at the Sea and Getting Any? DVD links.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Kitano is making Zatoichi 2
Wednesday, November 03, 2004

For some months now, Kitano has been appearing in public with blonde hair, and as Kitanos hair has been its usual dark since December 2003, the change in colour has caused fans to speculate about Zatoichi 2.

So, in order to end speculations and to answer those who emailed, can confirm, that Kitano indeed is making Zatoichi 2.

Kitano blond again?

As the story goes, when Kitano agreed to make Zatoichi, he also agreed to make a sequel, if the first film would become a huge succes. Not only did Zatoichi become a huge succes, it became the biggest succes in Kitanos career as a director. Kitano didn't talk about it, as he hadn't decided when to make it. After all, he had only promised to make it, but not when, and he had already decided to dedicate 2004 to acting. But in August 2004, the contracts were signed and about the same time, Kitano dyed his hair blond again.

There are no details on the actual shooting, neither when nor where, on cast or on story. A possible premiere date would be during Venice 2005, but nothing is decided yet.

Henrik Sylow | Source:
Screening of Dolls in Ottawa
Thursday, October 28, 2004

Canadians near Ottawa are in for a treat, as The National Library and Archives are showing Dolls, Sunday, October 31, at 19:00 (7:00pm).

It is part of a series of Japanese cinema and a collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and The Japan Foundation. Admission is free for all screenings in this series.

More information, as adress and phone number, is available via The Canadian Film Institute.

Henrik Sylow | Source: The Canadian Film Institute
Chi to Hone gets 5 of 5
Thursday, October 28, 2004

The first review of Chi to Hone in English has just been published in Japan Times.

In his quiet detailed review, Mark Schilling notes upon the film as "Chi to Hone (Blood and Bones), the new drama by Yoichi Sai that is certain to sweep Japanese film awards for the year", and upon Kitanos acting as, "In Shunpei, Kitano has found the role he was born for -- or perhaps raised for."

The entire review is available thru the Japan Times.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Japan Times
New Chi to Hone teaser
Monday, October 25, 2004

Along with its upcoming Japanese premiere, the second teaser for Chi to Hone, English title Blood and Bones, has recently been released. Both teasers are now available in Quicktime format.

Quicktime: Teaser #1 (1:05) - Teaser #2 (0:32)

The teasers are also available thru the Blood and Bones links.

Henrik Sylow | Source: Chi to Hone [Official Site]
Marriage press conference on video
Friday, October 22, 2004

Yahoo Japan made the entire press conference by Kitano concerning his daughters wedding and pregnancy available.

Kitano at the press conference

The entire interview runs five minutes and is entirely in Japanese and shows a very happy and relaxed Kitano.

Windows media: 56K - 300K
Real media: 56K - 300K

Henrik Sylow | Source: Yahoo [Japan]
Shoko gets married
Friday, October 22, 2004

What better way to start the news up again, that with a scoop. Kitano Takeshi will become a grandfather next spring.

Kitano at the press conference

On October 5, 2004, Kitano Shoko, his daughter, got married to her long time boyfriend, who daily works as a cook at a Tokyo hotel. The marriage was secret and Kitano learned about it much later.

During a press conference, Kitano, with a very shy smile, explained the whole story to the press,

"Suddenly Shoko's boyfriend came up to me and called me 'father'. I felt that everything I owned had been taken away from me. Shoko then told me not to drink too much, but I did and passed out. When I woke up, everyone was gone!"

Kitano continued to tell, that Shoko became pregnant before she got married and that her husbond apologized to Kitano. To this, Kitano had the following comment,

"I have not been a good father and I didn't even see my daughters face until she was 4 years old. Thinking about this and how much I owe her, how can I scold her husband"

About the gender of the grandchild, Kitano had this to say,

"I don't care whether its a boy or a girl, but I'm gonna give him/her the best education. Let him/her go to a good American school, let him/her learn how to play piano and the violin, so that he/she can win at the Chopin contest"

On what he would like his grandchild to be named, Kitano said, "Beat-Kun", laughted and continued, "When my grandchild is born, I will appear on tv wearing nothing but my underwear!"

Kitano ended the questions by saying, "I did nothing for my family, so now, as revenge, my daughter is making a typical family. I am, however, very happy to see her getting married with the good mature guy."

Frontpage of 'Sports Hochi' announcing Takeshi Grandson

This is really big news and the Japanese newspaper "Sports Hochi" also dedicted almost a third of its frontpage of todays issue to the news, with huge colourful types saying, "Takeshi Grandson".

According to "Sports Hochi", Kitanos daughter, Shoko is pregnant and will give birth to a son next spring.

Ryuichiro Tsutsumi | Source: Mainichi