Takeshi Kitano photo

Takeshi Kitano

Birth name:
Date of Birth:
18 January 1947 Tokyo, Japan
Height:
5' 5" (1.65 m)
Takeshi Kitano was born in Tokyo in 1947 and entered show business in 1972 as "Beat" Takeshi, the stage name he continues to use today as a performer. As part of the comic duo Two Beats, Kitano was one of the leading figures in the manzai (stand-up comedy) boom in the late 1970s. With his distinctive art of speech and his idiosyncratic perspective, Kitano became one of the most popular entertainers in the country during the 1980s.Since his 1989 directorial debut, Kitano has written, directed, edited or starred in almost a film per year without losing the momentum of his originality and heightened artistic sensibility. The extraordinary success of 1997's Hana-bi (1997) confirmed Kitano's place as a leading figure of international cinema. Among its numerous awards, "Hana-bi" won Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion and was named Best Non-European Film by the European Film Academy. "Hana-bi" was cited on numerous "Best Films of the Year" lists, often in the #1 position.In 2000 Kitano made Brother (2000), his first film shot outside of Japan. "Brother", like other Kitano-directed films such as his debut _Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki (1990)_ (US title: "Violent Cop"), 3-4 x jûgatsu (1990) (US title: "Boiling Point") and Sonatine (1993), centered around yakuza (gangster) characters. The filmmaker contrasted the violence and action of those films with comedy or tenderness in films like Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi (1991) (US title: "A Scene at the Sea"), Minnâ-yatteruka! (1994) (US title: "Getting Any?"), Kizzu ritân (1996) (US title: "Kids Return") and Kikujirô no natsu (1999). For the first time in six years, Kitano remained strictly behind the camera on Dolls (2002), his tenth film as a writer-director.As an actor Kitano has also appeared in films that he has not directed himself. He won international attention for his role in Nagisa Ôshima's Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983). He collaborated again with Oshima in 1999's samurai epic Gohatto (1999) (US title: "Taboo"). He appeared in Kinji Fukasaku's controversial box-office smash Batoru rowaiaru (2000) (US title: "Battle Royale"). His credits in films directed by non-Japanese filmmakers include include Robert Longo's Johnny Mnemonic (1995) and Jean-Pierre Limosin's Tokyo Eyes (1998).After an incredibly prolific and diverse 25-year career, Kitano continues to be one of the foremost personalities in Japan. He participates in five TV programs weekly, as well as several TV films and specials per year. He has written a number of novels and collections of short stories, essays and poetry. Also an accomplished cartoonist and painter, Kitano's artwork can be seen in "Hana-bi" and "Kikujiro".
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