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Takeshi Kitano Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Trade Mark (13) | Trivia (12) | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (3)

Born in Tokyo, Japan
Nickname Take-chan
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Takeshi Kitano originally studied to become an engineer, but was thrown out of school for rebellious behavior. He learned comedy, singing and dancing from famed comedian Senzaburô Fukami. Working as a lift boy on a nightclub with such features as comic sketches and striptease dancing, Kitano saw his chance when a comedian suddenly fell ill, and he went on stage in the man's place. With a friend he formed the comic duo "The Two Beat" (his artist's name, "Beat Takeshi", comes from this period), which became very popular on Japanese television.

Kitano soon embarked on an acting career, and when the director of Violent Cop (1989) (aka "Violent Cop") fell ill, he took over that function as well. Immediately after that film was finished he set out to make a second gangster movie, Boiling Point (1990). Just after finishing Getting Any? (1994), Kitano was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that almost killed him. It changed his way of life, and he became an active painter. This change can be seen in his later films, which are characterized by his giving more importance to the aesthetics of the film, such as in Fireworks (1997) and Kikujiro (1999).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Takeshi Kitano was born in Tokyo in 1947 and entered show business in 1972 as "Beat" Takeshi, the stage name he continues to use today as a performer. As part of the comic duo Two Beats, Kitano was one of the leading figures in the manzai (stand-up comedy) boom in the late 1970s. With his distinctive art of speech and his idiosyncratic perspective, Kitano became one of the most popular entertainers in the country during the 1980s.

Since his 1989 directorial debut, Kitano has written, directed, edited or starred in almost a film per year without losing the momentum of his originality and heightened artistic sensibility. The extraordinary success of 1997's Fireworks (1997) confirmed Kitano's place as a leading figure of international cinema. Among its numerous awards, "Hana-bi" won Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion and was named Best Non-European Film by the European Film Academy. "Hana-bi" was cited on numerous "Best Films of the Year" lists, often in the #1 position.

In 2000 Kitano made Brother (2000), his first film shot outside of Japan. "Brother", like other Kitano-directed films such as his debut _Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki (1990)_ (US title: "Violent Cop"), Boiling Point (1990) (US title: "Boiling Point") and Sonatine (1993), centered around yakuza (gangster) characters. The filmmaker contrasted the violence and action of those films with comedy or tenderness in films like A Scene at the Sea (1991) (US title: "A Scene at the Sea"), Getting Any? (1994) (US title: "Getting Any?"), Kizzu ritân (1996) (US title: "Kids Return") and Kikujiro (1999). For the first time in six years, Kitano remained strictly behind the camera on Dolls (2002), his tenth film as a writer-director.

As an actor Kitano has also appeared in films that he has not directed himself. He won international attention for his role in Nagisa Ôshima's Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983). He collaborated again with Oshima in 1999's samurai epic Gohatto (1999) (US title: "Taboo"). He appeared in Kinji Fukasaku's controversial box-office smash Battle Royale (2000) (US title: "Battle Royale"). His credits in films directed by non-Japanese filmmakers include include Robert Longo's Johnny Mnemonic (1995) and Jean-Pierre Limosin's Tokyo Eyes (1998).

After an incredibly prolific and diverse 25-year career, Kitano continues to be one of the foremost personalities in Japan. He participates in five TV programs weekly, as well as several TV films and specials per year. He has written a number of novels and collections of short stories, essays and poetry. Also an accomplished cartoonist and painter, Kitano's artwork can be seen in "Hana-bi" and "Kikujiro".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: intlpress@aol.com

Trade Mark (13)

Short quick bursts of violence
Always a scene by the sea
His cool poker face
Long still shots of characters, usually to introduce them
Frequently casts or works alongside his best friend, Susumu Terajima
Frequently works alongside producer Masayuki Mori
Serves as actor, writer, director and editor for his films
Long still shots of characters, walking out of frames
Goes under the stage name of Beat Takeshi
Frequently casts Ren Osugi
Always credited as Takeshi Kitano in the writing, directing and editing categories.
Often show beautiful tattoos on his characters' backs to represent yakuza status.
Often appears on Japanese variety shows

Trivia (12)

Directed a music video for his daughter, Shoko Kitano.
Had a motorbike accident ending up in hospital for a month.
Due to heavy damage suffered in a motorbike incident, he was subjected of an aestetic surgical action involving his entire face.
Has written over fifty books, including volumes of film criticism and novels.
Often appears on Japanese variety shows.
Often show beautiful tattoos on his characters' backs to represent yakuza status.
His Father's name was Kikujiro. Kitano admitted that his father spoke to him three times in his life. In 1979, Kitano's father passed away. In an rare interview, Kitano said that the last words of his father had been, "I'm sorry.".
William Friedkin's To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) and Sam Peckinpah's Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) are two of his favorite films.
Before becoming a film-maker, he was once a boxer and a tap dancer.
He is an accomplished tap dancer.
Own a Bugatti Veyron.
A fan of the French director Jean-Pierre Melville.

Personal Quotes (15)

One thing I hate in movies is when the camera starts circling around the characters. I find that totally fake.
I wanted to make a movie that can't be pigeonholed. I want audiences to come out of this film not knowing what to say or what to think. [on making Takeshis' (2005)]
The film is ambiguous, an ambiguity that reflects on Japan today, and a world in which nothing is clear. Once I made the film [Takeshis' (2005)], I realized it was about this feeling of vague disquiet in Japan and in the rest of the world, a feeling that is gaining on us, getting less vague.
I don't like the way Tarantino treats violence. Pulp Fiction (1994) doesn't show realistic violence, but to show violence realistically, you need stamina. It's not easy.
We've all had those nightmares. But individuals don't make war. Society makes war.
My characters are oppressed, under pressure and irritated. And this impression probably affects the public, who walk out wondering, what next? Where do we go from here?
It took me ten years of playing serial killers and rapists to be perceived as a serious actor amongst the Japanese public.
When learning to play the piano, one studies various types of pieces. When one acquires the basic knowledge of these pieces, one has reached sonatine. It's not really control, but it marks the end of first stage of training.
...[Violent Cop] was shot a long time ago, when I didn't knew how to make a film. At least now, I am beginning to grasp what filmmaking is all about, gradually, so I watched it again the other day on video, so that I could comment on it during the interview, as I had forgotten almost everything about it. Frankly, I couldn't bear to watch it. It's like being forced to watch yourself when you were a kid. I felt so embarrassed.
Comedians are supposed to make people laugh by doing things they're not allowed to do. Once they start taking about family values and humanity, they're not comedians anymore.
It is OK to be laughed at on stage or on TV, doing your act, but I didn't liked to be laughed at in public. I didn't wanted to be told, I was a funny guy in my private life.
When I write a script, I have the entire film in my head, so when we start shooting, I just do it. Im more interested in the editing process, so I tend to shoot in a hurry. Maybe you don't always have enough footage, but how you play around with it, is what is interesting.
I wanted to make fun of my own jokes, and send them up. So I made up new routines which were more outrageous than the silliest ones I usually invent. I wanted to make myself ludicrous to the point where viewers would say, 'This guy's had it'. I enjoyed my self-mockery so much I totally lost myself in it.
I think my accident may have been a blessing in disguise. It put me in a totally different frame of mind. It made me feel good about doing comedy again. I'm very happy with the way things are going now.
[on Akira Kurosawa] ...the ideal definition of cinema: a succession of perfect images. And Kurosawa is the only director who has attained that.

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