IMDb > Kikujiro (1999)
Kikujirô no natsu
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Kikujiro (1999) More at IMDbPro »Kikujirô no natsu (original title)

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Kikujiro -- US Home Video Trailer from Sony

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   12,308 votes »
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Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Takeshi Kitano (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Kikujiro on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 May 2000 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A young, naive boy sets out alone on the road to find his wayward mother. Soon he finds an unlikely protector in a crotchety man and the two have a series of unexpected adventures along the way. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
Review: Takeshis' (Personal Favorites #75)
 (From Twitch. 18 May 2012, 7:00 AM, PDT)

Review: Hana-bi (Personal Favorites #90)
 (From Twitch. 26 April 2012, 1:09 AM, PDT)

Review: Kikujiro No Natsu (Personal Favorites #83)
 (From Twitch. 8 February 2012, 4:23 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Beat Takeshi's Audacious, Edgy and Heartwarming Road Movie See more (84 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Takeshi Kitano ... Kikujiro (as Beat Takeshi)
Yusuke Sekiguchi ... Masao
Kayoko Kishimoto ... Kikujiro's Wife
Gurêto Gidayû ... Biker
Rakkyo Ide ... Biker's Friend
Akaji Maro ... Crazy Man

Yûko Daike ... Masao's Mother
Fumie Hosokawa ... Juggler Girl
Nezumi Imamura ... An-chan
Bîto Kiyoshi ... Man at Bus Stop
Daigaku Sekine ... Yakuza Boss
Yôji Tanaka ... Yakuza Henchman
Makoto Inamiya ... Yakuza Henchman
Hisahiko Murasawa ... Yakuza Henchman
Tarou Suwata ... Stall-keeper
Hidehisa Ebata ... Stall-keeper
Kanako Kojima ... Hostess
Kyoko Nagata ... Hostess
Shimie Komura ... Hostess
Fuyu Ooba ... Hostess
Yuki Tsukamoto ... Hostess
Yuko Yasui ... Hostess
Kenta Arai ... Masao's Friend
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ... Masao's Grandmother
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shinobu Hosokawa ... Kind Woman (uncredited)
Takeshi Ohnishi ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
Naoto Seshimo ... Tap Dancing Barista (uncredited)
Yoshiyuki Ukon ... Hotel Manager (uncredited)
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Directed by
Takeshi Kitano 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Takeshi Kitano  written by

Produced by
Shinji Komiya .... line producer
Masayuki Mori .... producer
Takio Yoshida .... producer
 
Original Music by
Joe Hisaishi 
 
Cinematography by
Katsumi Yanagijima 
 
Film Editing by
Takeshi Kitano 
Yoshinori Ohta 
 
Casting by
Takefumi Yoshikawa 
 
Production Design by
Tatsuo Ozeki 
 
Art Direction by
Norihiro Isoda 
 
Production Management
Akira Yamamoto .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hiroshi Shimizu .... first assistant director
 
Sound Department
Senji Horiuchi .... sound designer
Akira Nakano .... sound recordist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Hitoshi Takaya .... lighting designer
 
Music Department
Makoto Morimoto .... music producer
Shunji Tsuchikawa .... music producer
Akira Watanabe .... music producer
 
Other crew
Hideko Nakada .... script supervisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kikujirô no natsu" - Japan (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for a threatening incident
Runtime:
121 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Quotes:
Kikujiro:[to the teenagers who have stolen Masao's lunch money] Hand over more money or I'll kill you guys!
Kikujiro's Wife:Quit playing gangster!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Spirited Away (2001)See more »
Soundtrack:
SummerSee more »

FAQ

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19 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Beat Takeshi's Audacious, Edgy and Heartwarming Road Movie, 13 December 2005
Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA

In the title role of this highly original 1999 road movie, Beat Takeshi - with his twitching eye and bow-legged shuffle - looks and acts like a cross between Mickey Rourke and Harvey Keitel with a heavy dose of Walter Matthau's sourpuss demeanor (circa "The Bad News Bears") for good measure. He creates a truly memorable character - cynically profane, unapologetically insulting, childishly manipulative and somehow likable. As the director and screenwriter of said film, Takeshi Kitano - the same guy - has fashioned something quite unique from a tired premise - a boy's search for his mother and the gruff man who begrudgingly helps find her. What could have been a predictable and sentimental wallow, especially with the indiscriminate use of angels as a pervasive symbol, is instead an idiosyncratic, emotionally adroit film that sometimes simmers on the cusp of violence.

Yet it becomes ultimately affecting almost in spite of itself. In fact, Kitano does such a resolutely offbeat job that at certain times, the film reminds me of the narrative ellipses and low steady shots that were the trademark of Yasujiro Ozu's home dramas, intermingled with a surprisingly intense Quentin Tarantino-like, in-your-face edginess. The protagonist of the film is really the latch-key nine-year old, Masao, who is on a quest to find the mother whom his grandmother says is "away working". With his sad eyes and cherubic face, Yusuke Sekiguchi is perfectly cast as Masao providing the moral compass for the story. Whether he is running with his arms flailing or forlornly playing soccer by himself, he is poignant without being saccharine and completely natural. It is Masao's scrapbook that provides the framework for the film lending each chapter a descriptive title. Every chapter has a distinct character that is, in various turns, playful, hilarious, disturbing, surreal and heartbreaking. Case in point: Kitano is not afraid to use a child molester as first an uncomfortable source of black humor and then as the subject of Masao's nightmare. My favorite scenes come toward the end when Kikujiro organizes a motley crew of misfits to play games with Masao and have them masquerade as Indians, aliens, marine life and even watermelons. The variety in tone between chapters makes for unexpected tonal shifts, but somehow it works and adds to the greater context of the story.

That Kitano is able to manage a consistent film-making style with a strong visual sense is a credit to the talent behind the camera - not only Kitano's direction, script and film editing but also his artwork showcased throughout the movie, Katsumi Yanagishima's sharply rendered cinematography and Joe Hisaishi's evocative Windham Hill-like score. There are some funny sideline performances from Gidayu Great and Rakkyo Ide as Fatso and Baldy, two bikers who turn out to be the Abbott and Costello of soft-hearted slackers; Nezumi Mamura as a free-spirited drifter; Fumie Hosokawa as a relentlessly perky girl with a talent for juggling; and in the opening sequence, Kayoko Kishimoto as Kikujiro's take-no-prisoners wife. Kitano, however, elicits the most laughs if only for the film's central conceit that he gets away with his infantile gangster behavior. One would think the story would climax when Masao comes upon his mother, but Kitano confounds expectations with every new scene. The DVD really has no extras other than a couple of trailers not related to the film (not coincidentally, one is for Walter Salles' "Central Station" which has a similar story structure). I know this film has its detractors, especially among fans of Kitano's bloodier work, but I find it intriguingly ambiguous and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Kikujiro (1999)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Can I blame it on a cultural barrier? mbelche1
Question about the scary man Murdoch584
Kikujiro a yakuza? meifumado_1
Like a comfort food. antoindotnet
Is track cycling a big sport in Japan sharkwrestling-832-699433
What do you think happened to Masao as he grew up? This_is_an_outrage
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