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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...

BOKUNCHI – MY HOUSE

Two young brothers, Nita and Itta, live in a derelict town on a small Japanese island populated by an eccentric bunch of characters. One day, out of the blue, their mother returns with Kanoko, a ... More »

THE BLESSING BELL

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 »

DOLLS

The latest work from iconoclast Kitano 'Beat' Takeshi (Hana-Bi, MIFF 1998) weaves together three stories of undying love, delicately intertwined by the beauty of sadness and inspired by the emotions ... More »

THE GRUDGE

Under the supervision of Ring and Ring 2 writer Hiroshi Takahashi, newcomer Takashi Shimizu has directed a supernatural hit that has gone box-office ballistic in his home country. Sharing an approach ... More »

DOING TIME

A prison movie like no other, this amiable biographical film is a sheer delight. Cult manga author Hanawa Kazuichi spend three years in jail, for possession of replica guns he used in simulated ... More »

CHICKEN HEART

"Hiroshi Shizumi is a Takeshi Kitano protégé, having worked as assistant director on several of his films, including Kids Return (MIFF 1997), Hana-Bi (MIFF 1998) and Brother (MIFF 2001). Shizumi's ... More »

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