DVD: Sonatine (18)
Friday 08 May 2009
It is hard to explain the position of Takeshi Kitano in Japanese culture – both an internationally respected film-maker and popular television comedian, it's like Jonathan Ross directing and starring in his own art-house flicks.
If you sometimes watch obscure digital channels then you may also know him as the Count in Takeshi's Castle, a Japanese game show originally made in the late 1980s that has now become something of a cult hit over here. Six of his best films are now being re-released on their own after appearing together as a box set last year, with the pick of the bunch being Sonatine. It tells of a group of gangsters, led by Murakawa (Kitano), who are sent to the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to sort out a feud. Murakawa, suspecting a plot against him, ends up taking his men to a beach house where they begin to relax, yet violence is never far away. Released in 1993, Sonatine is a good introduction to Kitano's unusual style, which manages to be both minimalist and bleak whilst containing moments of hilarious farce. Kitano's lead performance is similarly deadpan, whilst the frequent moments of violence often seem serenely detached. The other films released include a slapstick comedy about a man's quest to have sex in a car (Getting Any?) and a touching romance (A Scene at the Sea), showcasing Kitano's appealing eccentricity.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 City traders pay £200 for a quick hangover cure
- 3 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him