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Japan, 2002 (MIFF 2003, Regional Focus)

Director: Shinozaki Makoto

Asakusa Kid is the story of the outrageous, misspent youthful days of internationally renowned Japanese multi-hyphenate (director-star-writer-all-round-media-personality) Kitano 'Beat' Takeshi, whose films, which include Hana-Bi (MIFF 1998) and Kids Return (MIFF 1997), have wowed Festival audiences.

After drifting from town to town, on a whim the young Kitano swaps his leather jacket for a blue 'happy coat' and begins work as a janitor in a sleezy burlesque strip club. After months of practising tap-dancing and picking up tips from anyone willing to offer them, the aspiring entertainer steps out onto the vaudeville stage in a spangly white suit as one half of 'The Two Beats'. Fame is not far behind.

Littered with pop culture references and full of hilarious episodes and reminiscences of genre pics from the 60s, Asakusa Kid is fun from the get-go. This low-key Rotterdam Film Festival hit was produced by Kitano's production company and incredibly the film was shot on location in Asakusa in the actual places where Kitano and his cohorts lived their astounding, hilarious early years.

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An wry, laconic observational comedy from the youthful master of deadpan, Sabu. Igarashi (Kitano 'Beat' Takeshi regular Sumumu Terajima) cannot believe his bad luck. On his first day as a factory ... More »

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