Thursday, October 18, 2007


"Beat" Takeshi Kitano of DOLLS and ZATOICHI fame, purveyor of ultra-violence to the masses, has vowed never to make another violent movie. GLORY TO THE FILM-MAKER! is his movie about his inability to make a different kind of genre movie. Kitano spoofs genre after genre with genius precision and derisory wit. From Ozu to Ju-On to Wire-Fu to the Matrix, Kitano puts himself in the frame and puts the genre down. The continuity device is a series of fillers showing Kitano with a papier-mache life-size doll of himself. He looks glum at his inability to find another outlet for his cinematic skill. After every failed attempt, the dummy gets it.

Every cineaste is going to get a kick out of this movie, checking off references and noticing the funny script written on computer screen in the back-ground. (In the opening hospital scene, the dummy is called Akira Kurosawa.) But after an hour I have to confess that my interest started to wane as it does with all those infinitely inferior SCARY MOVIE type flicks. Fundamentally, while it's kind of cool to see Kitano sounding off about the vacuity of modern cinema, I needed something more to keep me hooked - some actual plot or character development, say. So, one for hard-core fans alone, methinks.....

GLORY TO THE FILM-MAKER!/KANTOKU-BANZAI! played Venice, Toronto and London 2007 and was released in Japan in June 2007.

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