Japanese Cinema TAKASHI MIIKE

“I don't think about the audience, I don't think about what makes them happy, because there's no way for me to know. They think of the audience as a mass, but in fact every person in the audience is different. So entertainment for everyone doesn't exist.”

A highly prolific and controversial Japanese filmmaker, Takashi MIIKE was born on August 24, 1960 in Yao, Osaka, Japan. Under the guidance of renowned filmmaker Shohei IMAMURA (a two-time Palme d’Or winner at Cannes), Miike graduated from the Yokohama Vocational School of Broadcast and Film.

Miike’s first films were television productions, but he also began directing several high-quality direct-to-video releases. His theatrical debut came in 1995 with Shinjuku Triad Society, and its success gave him the freedom to work on more ambitious projects. One of the most successful Japanese directors currently working, he has also garnered a strong cult following in the West that is growing rapidly as more of his films become available in translated form on DVD.

Some of Miike’s most popular films include Audition, the Dead or Alive trilogy, Ichi the Killer, Gozu, Izo, and Big Bang Love, Juvenile A.
Miike has achieved international notoriety for depicting shocking scenes of extreme violence and bizarre sexual encounters. Many of his films contain graphic and lurid bloodshed, often portrayed in an over-the-top, cartoonish manner. Much of his work depicts the activities of criminals, and he is known for his black sense of humor and for pushing the boundaries of censorship as far as they will go.

A talented filmmaker who dabbles in a variety of genres, in 1998, Miike was picked as one of the ten non-English directors most likely to succeed by TIME magazine. He has won almost two dozen awards in his short career, including Best Asian Film at the 2001 Fant-Asia Film Festival for Visitor Q, Best Film at the Sitges-Catalonian International Film Festival in 2003 for Gozu and 2004 for Izo, the Special Jury Prize at the 2004 Gerardmer Film Festival for The Happiness of the Katakuris, and both the FIPRESCI Prize and KNF Award at the 2000 Rotterdam Unternational Film Festival for Audition. Additionally, he was the only Japanese director selected to participate in Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” series, although his film, Imprint, could not be shown because the content was too extreme for even cable television’s relaxed standards.
Takashi Miike, without his signature sunglasses, has an uncredited appearance in Graveyard of Honor as the assassin who attempts to kill the Godfather. Fortunately for the Boss, Ishimatsu appears and bashes Miike over the head with a chair. Miike has commented in an interview that he does this to save money on casting fees. Rumor has it that Quentin Tarantino uses the same excuse. —AnimEigo



Release: 1999
Directed by: Takashi Miike (Mee-Yay-Kay)
Written by: Ryu Murakami and Daisuke Tengan

Ryo Ishibashi
 as Shigeharu Aoyama
Eihi Shiina as Asami Yamazaki
Tetsu Sawaki as Shigehiko Aoyama
Jun Kunimura as Yasuhisa Yoshikawa

Taken from a novel written by Ryu Murakami,Audition starts by introducing us to a widower, Shigeharu Aoyama, and his teenage son Shigehiko. Shigehiko doesn’t want his father to be alone any more. Aoyama’s friend, Yoshikawa, doesn’t want him to be alone any more either and devises a way to let Aoyama pick someone. 

They will put together a fake audition for a script and put out a casting call for the lead female character. During the hours of interviews, in walks Asami Yamazaki, an attractive and soft spoken young woman that seems to strike a chord with Aoyama.

What begins as a gentle and romantic affair turns into a disturbing nightmare, full of sado-masochism, torture and violence.
Miike is excellent at building steady suspense and shifting perspectives, and the last, highly tense and intense reel is particularly striking in its thematic and stylistic touches. Throughout the narrative, Miike intersperses wickedly perverse and devious humor, which helps absorb the graphically violent scenes.

Audition Trailer 




Takashi Miike


Hideo Yamamoto (comic), Sakichi Satô (screenplay)


Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ohmori and Shin'ya Tsukamoto


Takashi Miike spins this unsettling, blood-soaked yakuza yarn adapted from Hideo Yamamoto's cult manga Koroshiya 1. When mob don Anjo mysteriously disappears, his protégé Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano) vows to find the people responsible. Sporting a blond head of hair and a yawning, pierced slash for a mouth, Kakihara is no ordinary gangster and his methods are equally unorthodox; he impales one poor suspect's naked body on a series of meat hooks and then dumps hot oil on him. 

Meanwhile, a shadowy character known as Jijii (played by director Shinya Tsukamoto) deftly manipulates, for his own nefarious ends, Ichi (Nao Omori), an unbalanced but ruthless killing machine clad in a superhero suit. Pining for the sadistic abuse of his boss, Kakihara learns of Ichi from a Hong Kong hostess (Alien Sun) and sets out to find this fabled butcher, hoping he can inflict the pain that Kakihara crave.

Ichi the Killer Trailer


GOZU (2003) 


Takashi Miike


Sakichi Satô (screenplay)


Yûta Sone, Shô Aikawa and Kimika Yoshino


At a yakuza gathering, Ozaki (Shô Aikawa of the Dead or Alive films) unsettles the boss (Renji Ishibashi) when he claims a small dog outside the restaurant is a "yakuza attack dog" and viciously smashes it to death. Minami (Hideki Sone) is assigned to drive the apparently unstable Ozaki to a remote location and kill him. Minami considers Ozaki a "brother," and feels ambivalent about this assignment.

After several odd incidents on the road, Minami ends up in the small town of Nagoya, where things get even odder. Unable to get a signal on his cellular, Minami goes into a restaurant to use the phone, and Ozaki, whom he thought to be unconscious, promptly vanishes. When Minami finally contacts the boss, he's told to get in touch with the local Shiroyama crew. Minami doesn't know his way around, and the weird locals seem more interested in animated, interminable arguments about the weather than in helping him find his way. Eventually he runs into Nose (Shôhei Hino), who seems relatively sane, and offers to help him find Ozaki. Minami spends the night at an inn, where the innkeeper (Keiko Tomita) possesses a strange lactating power (which she's eager to demonstrate), and mistreats her mentally challenged employee (Harumi Sone). 

After another frustrating day searching for Ozaki, during which he encounters the decrepit Shiroyama crew, Minami finds a note from his "brother," and travels to the town dump to meet him, only to find Ozaki (now played by Kimika Yoshino) in a transformed state. Gozu was directed by the prolific Takashi Miike from a script by Sakichi Satô, who also wrote the script for Miike's Ichi the Killer.

Gozu Trailer




Takashi Miike


Ikki Kajiwara (novel), Hisao Maki (novel)


Ryûhei Matsuda, Masanobu Andô and Shunsuke Kubozuka

Two men imprisoned for seperate murders find their fates mortally intertwined in cult director Takashi Miike's homoerotic meditation on the societal flaws of modern-day Japan. Jun (Ryuhei Matsuda) is an effiminate gay bar employee who, after being sexually assaulted by a customer, brutally murdered his attacker in a fit of rage. Shiro (Masanobu Ando) is a brutish, heavily-tattooed thug whose combative nature has resulted in too many run-ins with the law to count.

When both men are imprisoned for murder, Shiro's undeniable charisma and intensity draws Jun like a moth to the flame. As the two men learn from behind bars to open up and accept one and other for who they really are, a warm bond begins to grow that finds each man confiding his innermost secrets with the other and Shiro taking an almost paternal interest in his fragile young friend. 

When a confrontation erupts in the common area of the prison and one inmate strangles another to death, the guards are shocked to find Jun sitting on Shiro's lifeless body

Big Bang Love, Juvenile A Trailer



Fully-revised and updated edition of the best-selling guide to Japan's most prolific and successful film director. This second edition of Agitator features * a new and expanded 16-page color section * completely updated DVD information * several brand-n