Saturday, September 10, 2005


Takeshis' is the latest film from writer/director Takeshi Kitano. He apparently got the idea for this film shortly after finishing Sonatine (1993). Kitano was previously at the festival in 2003 with Zatoichi, which won the People's Choice Award that year.

Takeshis' finds him playing two roles: one is a version of his real-life actor persona, Beat Takeshi; the other is a mild-mannered convenience store clerk/amateur actor named Kitano. The lives and the dreams of the two men intersect and parallel each other continuously throughout the film.

Actors, scenes, and elements from Kitano's other films (Sonatine, Kikujiro, Brother, and Zatoichi to name a few) show up frequently as the two men have waking dreams involving each other's lives.

The Beat Takeshi of the film is almost a stylized version of his real self, as the public might perceive him. This feeds into the fantasies of the clerk Kitano, who dreams of being Beat Takeshi, taking out his frustrations with the world in a hail of gunfire, just like in the movies.

The film is constantly jumping between reality and fantasy, from one character to another, rooted in the present but with flashes into the future. It can make it difficult to follow at times, leaving you to wonder whose perspective is being shown on screen and whether it exists in the dream world or the real world or something in between.

The film was enjoyable and not overly impenetrable, with its share of humerous moments and trademark flashes of sudden violence. Still, the movie is not quite as accessible as his other films, with the exception of Dolls, and while not strictly necessary, familiarity with Kitano's previous work heightens the viewing experience.


My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
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