David Bowie: the sexiest man ever.
Battle Royale (2000): the most brutal movie ever.
Both apart by not even 3 degrees of separation!
Enter Kitano Takeshi. Some of you may know him from MXC (or Takeshi’s Castle, as it’s known in Japan). They refer to him as Vic Romano in the American version (LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL). Seriously though, the dub is HILARIOUS.
This same Kitano Takeshi is a big name in Japan: he is a professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts, owns his own talent agency, production company(#), and FREQUENTLY appears on television and in film. In fact, he was a member of the cast of Battle Royal, playing the role of ‘Kitano Sensei.’ He is known for his dark sense of humor:
Kitano Takeshi (link)
In 1983, Takeshi starred in his first major film role. The film, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, was “based on Laurens van der Post’s experiences during World War II as a prisoner of war” (&). Coincidentally, the score of this film was by Sakamoto Ryuichi, and has influenced musical artists up until today: in 2009 Utada Hikaru covered the song in her album, This is the One.
Ryuichi starred along side Kitano in this film, along with (interestingly!) Tom Conti (who speaks Japanese non-stop throughout) and, yes, DAVID BOWIE!
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
A very interesting film…. interesting like watching an alien plant bloom in the light of 5 suns after the death of time. Yep, that kind of film. But worth a look for sure.
And why am I bringing any of this up at all?
Because on January 15 of this year (2013) , the director of this inspiring and intriguing film, Nagisa Oshima, passed away.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Nagisa Oshima. You have had played a big role in my time in Japan. You will be missed.