IMDb > Izo (2004)
Izo
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Izo (2004) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.2/10   3,676 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Shigenori Takechi (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Izo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 August 2004 (Japan) See more »
Plot:
An executed samurai takes an existential journey throughout time, space and eternity in search of bloody vengeance. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(17 articles)
User Reviews:
A slice, a groan, a war-cry, and a folk ballad See more (61 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Kazuya Nakayama ... Okada Izo

Kaori Momoi
Ryûhei Matsuda (as Ryuuhei Matsuda)
Ryôsuke Miki
Yûya Uchida
Masumi Okada
Hiroki Matsukata
Hiroshi Katsuno
Masato

Bob Sapp

Takeshi Kitano (as 'Bîto' Takeshi)
Daijirô Harada
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Taisaku Akino
Chisato Amate
Takeshi Caesar

Joe Cappelletti ... Hanpeita (voice: English version)
Mickey Curtis (as Mikkî Kâchisu)
Ken'ichi Endô (as Ken'ichi Endou)

Michael Forest ... Samurai (voice: English version) (as Alfred Thor)

Jessica Gee ... Izo's Mother (voice: English version) (as Jessica Gee-George)
Ryûji Harada

Yoshio Harada
Kate Higgins ... Teacher (voice: English version) (as Kate Davis)

Megan Hollingshead ... Saya (voice: English version) (as Karen Thompson)
Renji Ishibashi
Tsurutarô Kataoka
Kirin Kiki
Shigeo Kobayashi
Miyuki Komagata
Steve Kramer ... Man with Voice Box (voice: English version)
Dave Mallow ... Doctor (voice: English version)
Kazuhiro Mashiko

Michael McConnohie ... Yakuza Leader (voice: English version)
Yasukaze Motomiya
Hiroyuki Nagato
Mari Nakayama

Liam O'Brien ... Prince (voice: English version)
Ken Ogata
Mitsuhiro Oikawa

Sam Riegel ... Izo (voice: English version)
Tokitoshi Shiota
Christopher Corey Smith ... Businessman (voice: English version) (as Chris Kent)
Harumi Sone
Melodee Spevack ... Original Mother (voice: English version) (as Melodee M. Spevack)
Doug Stone ... VIP (voice: English version)

Kim Strauss ... High Official (voice: English version)
Shun Sugata
Haruna Takase
Teah
Susumu Terajima
Kirk Thornton ... Prime Minister (voice: English version)
Kazuki Tomokawa
Tarô Yamamoto
Joe Yamanaka
Rikiya Yasuoka
Hideji Ôtaki

Directed by
Takashi Miike 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Shigenori Takechi  screenplay

Produced by
Taizô Fukumaki .... producer: KSS/Kei Esu Esu
Fujio Matsushima .... producer: Excellent Film/Ekuserento Firumu
Kazuyoshi Okuyama .... supervising producer
 
Original Music by
Kôji Endô 
 
Cinematography by
Nobuyuki Fukazawa 
 
Film Editing by
Yasushi Shimamura 
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Takashi Sugimoto .... gaffer
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
Japan:128 min | Argentina:128 min (Mar del Plata Film Festival)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Company:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Version of Hitokiri (1969)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
27 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
A slice, a groan, a war-cry, and a folk ballad, 25 April 2005
Author: musashi_88 from Coolsville (Winnipeg)

The latest chapter in Takeshi Miike's continuing essay on humanity and brutality, IZO is a two-hour experimental mind-trip.

If this film were in any way concerned with making sense, the storyline might resemble something like this: A man is brutally murdered in ancient Japan, but, bearing his vengeance, he returns to the Earth and wanders uncontrollably through time and space, becoming the embodiment of mankind's self-destructive nature. Throughout his wanderings, he encounters all kinds of strange and metaphoric characters, and he proceeds to kill them all with his samurai sword.

This film is an elaborate thesis on mankind, but the exact nature of the message is a matter of debate, as is whether or not Takeshi Miike himself even has a clue. There will no doubt be differing opinions as to what the characters represent, but you better make up your mind during the first hour of film. After that, most of the scenes that obviously point out a social message - like black-and-white footage of war - disappear, and what the resolution is depends on your interpretation of the characters.

For those of you not familiar with the works of Takeshi Miike, suffice it to say that he is determined to mine the human subconscious in search of new and exciting ways to make people throw up sushi and tempura on the carpeted floors of Tokyo multiplexes. Among Japan's pantheon of ultra-violent directors, he is notable for being always ready to address the issue of his own sadism. Ever film he makes is like an expansion of Hitchcock's shower scene, forcibly accusing us of being sadists at the same time as he delivers great images of cinematic violence. More than the social commentary, which is confusing and likely uncertain, the most interesting philosophical study in IZO is Miike's self-examination of his own lust for violence, as well as the main character's and the audience's. Is Izo so brutal because he is inhuman, or because he is too human?

You may not get anything from straining at this befuddled movie, but it is still enjoyable and provoking, if not gut-wrenching, experimental cinema. Any violent philosophical essay that features long shots of a folk singer playing guitar and screaming ballads is worth a look. IZO has elements of Kafka, Lewis Carrol, Terry Gilliam, and Seijun Suzuki, but it is undeniably Takeshi Miike.

You can call Miike sadistic. You can call him demented or depraved. Just don't forget to call him an artist.

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