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A SCENE AT THE SEA

Japan, 1991 (MIFF 1992, Spotlight Takeshi)

Director: Takeshi Kitano

The expectations set by Takeshi's previous two films were purposefully undone when he moved past American action films and com­pletely wrote out of the script his own distinc­tive persona. The result of his new-found independence is both surprising and consis­tent, and an unmistakable vindication of his versatility and command as a director.

The story here concerns the teenager Shigeru, who one day on his rounds as a garbage collector finds a ruined surfboard. With single-minded devotion he repairs it and starts to use it, all the while suffering the taunts and humiliation of his more adept peers. Like the characters of the earlier films, the apparent misfits get a chance to prove themselves, though the methods and conse­quences of this are less than expected.

In a manner that is ingenuous and power­fully affecting, the audience comes to realize that Shigeru and his girlfriend companion Takako are afflicted by a disability. The film refuses to patronize them, nor does it use them for easily arrived-at sentiment. With its relaxed pace, elliptical and hesitating denoue­ment, the film casts a haunting and mystifying spell that lingers long after the strangely enig­matic resolution. • Paul Kalina

See also...

BOILING POINT

... ... In Japan, Takeshi Kitano currently advertises a product called 'Jolt Cola'. Aside from his endorsement, the selling point is that it boasts twice the caffeine of regular colas. For once, star ... More »

VIOLENT COP

... ... Takeshi makes his directorial debut in what on the surface at least is a standard 'rene­gade cop' genre film. Takeshi plays Detective Azuma, the department's 'wild-card' whose unorthodox ... More »

HANA-BI (FIREWORKS)

Police detective Nishi (Takeshi) ditches stakeout duty with his partner and best friend Horibe to visit his wife in hospital. During the visit he is informed that his wife's condition is incurable ... More »

SONATINE

In Sonatine writer/director/editor/star 'Beat' Takeshi consolidates his position as the most original, idiosyncratic and poetic exponent of the gangster film working anywhere in the world today ... More »

OUTRAGE BEYOND

"Takeshi Kitano's best film in a decade." – Cinema Scope ... Picking up where Outrage (MIFF 2010) left off, Outrage Beyond opens with rifts beginning to form in the Sanna yakuza family ... More »

OUTRAGE

"As violent, amoral and misanthropic as a Jacobean play... arguably [Kitano's] best film in a decade." - Hollywood Reporter ... Legendary director Takeshi Kitano (Hana-Bi, MIFF 1998) returns to the ... More »

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