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ASAKUSA KID

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.

See also...

TURNING GATE

South Korea, 2002
Out-of-work actor Gyung-soo flees to a popular country town to visit a former schoolmate, now writer, Seong-wu. Soon upon arrival, he has a brief, intense fling with a dance instructor Myung-sook, wh… More »

INFERNAL AFFAIRS

Hong Kong, 2002
Taking its place besides the classic John Woo and Tsuik Hark Hong Kong action films of the 80s and 90s, Infernal Affairs is as hard boiled and relentless as they come. Yan (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) is an… More »

PERFECT STRANGERS

New Zealand, 2003
When Melanie (Rachael Blake, Lantana, MIFF 2001) goes home from the pub with the best looking bloke (Sam Neill) there, she is more than pleased with herself. After a night of revelry, she passes out … More »

SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN

China, 2002
It is 1946 and China is picking itself up after the withdrawal of Japanese troops. Yuwen lives in a war-damaged house with her ailing husband, Dai, her sister-in-law, Xiu, and a house servant. She is… More »

GOZU

Japan, 2003
This Cannes Directors' Fortnight selection relates the story of Ozaki, a senior Japanese gangster whose increasingly peculiar behaviour is beginning to worry his Yakuza superiors. When Ozaki interrup… More »

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