By Sean Redmond
The Cinema of Takeshi Kitano: Flowering Blood is a close aesthetic, Deleuzian, and phenomenological exploration of Japan's best currently-working movie director, performer, and megastar. the quantity uniquely explores Kitano's oeuvre during the tropes of stillness and circulate, turning into animal, depression and loss, depth, schizophrenia, and radical alterity; and during the cultured temperatures of colour, gentle, digital camera stream, functionality and concrete and oceanic area. during this hugely unique monograph, all of Kitano's movies are given due attention, together with A Scene on the Sea (1991), Sonatine (1993), Dolls (2002), and Outrage (2010).
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Additional info for The Cinema of Takeshi Kitano: Flowering Blood (Directors' Cuts)
The Kitano shot brings into being the peripheral look. For example, in Boiling Point, a group of rowdy youths are involved in a car crash near the beginning of the film. These minor, minority characters, who do not appear in the film again, draw attention to the way ‘looking’ is conventionally organised, forcing the viewer to not only see into the peripheral but to recognise its constituents. The crash is initially filmed front on, but a cut a moment later takes the position of the driver of the car they have crashed into.
Traditional Japanese iconography such as vases, paintings, national/local landmarks such as Mount Fuji, and key historic sites populate the mise-en-scène (although they are also more critically presented as kitsch tourist goods and spaces, their existence now manifest only as lost fetish). Various ancient ceremonies, rituals and practices find their way into the body of the films, for example, the body tattoos of yakuza in Sonatine, or Kabuki performance in Dolls. Kitano’s use of the freeze frame is a technique that itself violently pulls the film out of the present to an immediate past.
The image is filled with tears that are rarely directly spilt and screams that cannot be easily heard but which nonetheless rain down, call out, from beyond the universe. Given the length of time that one can sit with these residual pain images in a Kitano film, the imperceptible feeling of shared loss is acute. It stares back, right into you, deep down into the solar plexus and beyond, turning one’s own body, own’s own face, into a stretched out, liquid thin mass of contortions. Minor or everyday activities and events contribute, or give affecting breadth, to the pain image.
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