Kitano Takeshi (BFI, 2007)
ISBN 9781844571659 (cloth)
ISBN 9781844571666 (paper)
From the blurb:
“The award-winning art film Hana-Bi,Sonatine the stoic gangster elegy , the surfer romance A Scene at the SeaGetting Any?, the absurdist comedy , the entertainment samurai spectacle ZatoichiViolent Cop—very different films made under one name, Kitano Takeshi. Who is Kitano Takeshi?—an artistic auteur in the traditional sense or a new kind of star who manages multiple identities, strategically changing them from film to film and situation to situation? This book explores issues of auteurship and stardom in the films of Kitano Takeshi, especially as they relate to problems of personal and national identity in a Japan confronting an age of globalization. Aaron Gerow combines a detailed account of Japanese film and criticism with unique close analyses of Kitano's films from to Takeshis'.”
Donald Richie has written a very kind review in the Japan Times.
Darrell Davis published a review in the Winter 2009-2010 issue of Film Quarterly, calling the book a "reliable, scrupulous, and illuminating account" that "made a major contribution in detailing Kitano’s public persona." He thankfully also liked my jokes: "That Gerow’s handling of his subject would fulfill expectations is no surprise, but wait, there’s more . . . a spark of humor, occasioned perhaps by the acid tongue of Kitano himself."