Tue Jan 30 20:37:00 EST 2001
Whoops, apologies for sending personal mail to the list. Further apologies
for further cluttering up your inboxes with my apology.
Last Saturday, I saw Kitano's Takeshi's "Brother" on Dotonbori Boulevard,
Osaka. Considering it was the film's opening day, I expected a bit of a
fight for seats, but it turned out that the cinema was half empty. Hardly
the same demand there was for "Whiteout" when I saw that last year.
Regarding the film itself, well, I haven't seen Battle Royale yet but
Brother did seem to be somewhat of a companion piece to that movie. Lots
of killing, little point. Kitano wasn't saying anything that he hadn't
already in his other yakuza-themed movies, and the whole thing had the
feeling of a failed experiment. The black-Japanese angle was handled with
so little depth that it rendered it inconsequential. Even Omar Epps, who
played the only main American character, was relegated to a superficial
sidekick role. Kitano's claims in the media that he was aiming to turn
stereotypes of Japanese in American movies on their head also rang a bit
hollow. Yes, his Japanese characters were certainly relentless and
strong-willed, but they were still yakuza, and rather glorified versions at
that. The black and Italian characters were so thinly drawn that it was
effectively reverse discrimination on Kitano's part, giving all the best
lines and characterisations to his talented Japanese cast. And the gaping
holes in the plot... I'm unaware as to how this film has been received so
far, but personally this was somewhat of a disappointment. Like so many
other actor/directors, Kitano's best films seem to be the ones that he
Looking forward to discussing this more with other Kinejapaners.
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