Skip to main content


Japan, 1996 (MIFF 1997, Regional)

Director: Takeshi Kitano

Alternating between humour and irony, Takeshi Kitano's hard edged look at disaffect­ed youth follows the life of two high school fail­ures, Shinji and Masaru, and their fate in the unyielding system that is modern Japanese soci­ety. Shinji progresses from school bully to a mem­ber of the lower levels of the Yakuza, while Masaru drifts, almost by accident, into boxing. Other school mates are also trying to realise their dreams - two attempt a life in stand-up comedy, while another pair try a career as salesmen before descending into the grind of cab driving.

But it is to Shinji and Masaru that the narra­tive keeps returning as both struggle to prevail, having slowly realised the difference between teenage expectations and the reality of the adult world. Numerous peripheral, though fully round­ed, characters appear along the way and there is a touching romantic subplot, but despite the humour and eccentric detours, Kitano's depic­tion of the hopelessness and lack of choice fac­ing Japanese youth is powerfully conveyed right up to the bittersweet final sequences.

See also...


"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 »


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 »


... ... 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 »


"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 »


... ... 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 »


Legendary Japanese director, actor and hardman, Kitano ‘Beat' Takeshi, puts the ‘gang' back into ‘doppelganger' with this hyper-real violation of the traditional rules of film form and ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director