The Cinema of Takeshi Kitano: Flowering Blood (Directors' Cuts)
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The Cinema of Takeshi Kitano: Flowering Blood is a detailed aesthetic, Deleuzian, and phenomenological exploration of Japan's finest currently-working film director, performer, and celebrity. The volume uniquely explores Kitano's oeuvre through the tropes of stillness and movement, becoming animal, melancholy and loss, intensity, schizophrenia, and radical alterity; and through the aesthetic temperatures of color, light, camera movement, performance and urban and oceanic space. In this highly original monograph, all of Kitano's films are given due consideration, including A Scene at the Sea (1991), Sonatine (1993), Dolls (2002), and Outrage (2010).
his films, is one based on marginal identity and minority becoming. Textually, then, Kitano’s films challenge the very substance of the success myth, and of the trajectory of his own becoming-star. Through the dissolution of the starartist body, through the womanly and the animalistic, and through the alien alterity that wraps itself around everything, one gets to sense, to experience a body beyond language, beyond the docility and disappointment from which it is usually rooted in. Kitano’s
Takeshi Kitano/Beat Takeshi is not exactly a figure of fame damage, at least not in terms of his ‘public’, extra-diegtic persona. He is incredibly successful, wealthy and grounded. Nonetheless, there is enough of a story of personal crisis to begin to suggest an access point for the disaffected. When one considers the disaffected, suicidal characters he plays this opening multiplies exponentially and forcefully. However, it is in the articulation between all three classifications of the star that
beneath a waterfall or performing ritual ablutions in a rivermouth or in the sea. The purpose is to remove sins (tsumi) and impurities (kegare), concepts which include bad luck and disease as well as guilt. In Spirited Away (Hayao f lowe r i n g b lo o d Kitano_pages.indb 89 89 19/12/12 22:15:33 Miyazaki, 2001) for example, one finds purity and purification set against pollution, excessive/vile consumption, dirt and poison. In the film, the bath house is pivotal; it marks a return to Shinto
sanction his own symbolic immortality. Such a resurrection is telling in terms of Kitano’s oeuvre. This is the first time that he has worked on a sequel, with the plot and storyline intersecting and crossconnecting between the two films. This return again to the yakuza film is a resurrection generically and thematically; a revisitation to familiar haunts, dilemmas and honourable concerns, but with and through a new embodied self. Ôtomo is a character that has been shaped and coloured by all the
essentials, and meaning becomes transmitted through the aural, the sonic; the angry, metallic vibrations of aggression thrown across a room. That the second half of Outrage Beyond is all physical violence, symbiotically connects violent words to actions, and violent actions to words, in a synthesis of mind (words) and body (action) that is experiencing an animal becoming. The second sound aspect is the electronic-jazz score provided by Keiichi Suzuki, who also worked on Outrage and Zatoichi. The