Friday, February 03, 2006

If you could see what I hear

"Beat" Takeshi Kitano is a sort of Japanese David Bryne. If Bryne were more prolific. And popular. And involved in more media. He got his start with some scatological stand-up humor. He is best known in the states for his movies, in which he stars and directs. I have seen three: Taboo, which may be the world's only gay samurai movie (take that Brokeback), Brother, an exiled yakuza in LA story, and most recently Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman. I should note he is Battle Royale, which I am desperate to see. He has a deadpan stare and trademark chuckle (usually made just before killing somebody.) He makes me think of Jack Nicholson who brings his manic craziness to each role. Either you will find it entertaining or annoying.

Zatoichi is a masseur and is blind and is a crazy kick ass swordsman wandering some pre- Meiji Japan. This movies is the first (of 27!) not to star Shintaru Katsu as the swordsman. I thought the movie was decent. Takeshi has a wierd sense of humor that pops up sometimes deflating tension sometimes not. Also the CGI blood looks bizarre, but according to IMDB this was done to make the movie seem less violent. The movie owes a lot to Yojimbo, with a gang terrorizing the locals, but this gang pisses off the wrong blind back-rubber. I would see Brother first, unless you really like sword fighting movies.

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