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Title: Kitano Takeshi : authorship, genre & stardom in Japanese cinema
Author: Bingham, Adam R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 8824
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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Kitano Takeshi is, quite simply and inescapably, unlike any other artist at work in the world today. In his native Japan he is one of the most popular and enduring entertainers of the last thirty years. Under the stage name Bi"to (Beat) Takeshi he is famous as a stand-up comedian, a film actor and a television personality. With up to seven shows every week on Japanese television, he is a perennial, ubiquitous figure: someone who can move from vulgar comedy to talk shows about the Japanese economy or about the Japanese themselves and back with apparent ease. Elsewhere (most often under his real name) he is or has been variously known and acclaimed as a painter, novelist, singer, poet, critic, radio host, newspaper columnist and magazine essayist: and latterly has been the driving force behind his own production company, Office Kitano. In addition to this, Kitano also has what he self-deprecatingly (and somewhat disingenuously) calls a 'hobby'. He is a filmmaker - a writer/director of world-renown, arguably the most important and celebrated Japanese director of his generation and almost certainly today the most famous on the world stage. Indeed, if his status as the foremost TV personality in Japan over recent decades is beyond doubt (among others accolades, he was named in a national poll as the country's favourite television celebrity for six consecutive years), so too is his importance within the Japanese film industry of the 1990s and thereafter. Despite his curious absence from certain discourses on contemporary Japanese filmmaking, Kitano' s centrality to his country's cinema cannot be overstated. Domestically, he was instrumental in shaping the direction that mainstream filmmaking took in Japan in the 1990s. Along with Tsukamoto Shinya's Tetsuo (Tetsuo: The Iron Man, 1989), Kitano's first film Sono otoko, kyobo ni tsuki (Violent Cop, 1989) reintroduced violent genre material onto Japanese screens more than a decade after the last heyday of the Yakuza film (with Fukasaku Kinji and Ishii Teruo) had ended. Like Fukasaku, director of the Yakuza films series that revolutionized the genre in the early 1970s, Kitano's early innovations in the Yakuza and Cop film indelibly transformed what had since the 1970s become staid and antiquated generic forms, and brought about a popular revival in line both with contemporary social malaise and with a detailed stylistic revision and transformation of narrative technique.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available