Takeshi Kitano  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Takeshi Kitano (born January 18, 1947 in Umejima, Adachi, Tokyo) is a Japanese comedian, actor, presenter, author, poet, painter, one-time video game designer, film editor and film director who has received critical acclaim, both in his native Japan and abroad, for his highly idiosyncratic cinematic work. With the exception of his works as a film director, he is known almost exclusively by the name Beat Takeshi . Since April 2005, he has been a professor at the Graduate School of Visual Arts, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

Kitano owns his own film company, Office Kitano, which launched Tokyo Filmex in 2000. Kitano's films are typically dramas about Yakuza gangsters or the police, referred to by critics as being highly deadpan to the point of near-stasis. He often uses long takes where nothing appears to be happening, or with edits that cut immediately to the aftermath of an event. Many of his films express a bleak or nihilistic philosophy, but they are also filled with a great deal of humor and remarkable affection for their characters. Kitano's films paradoxically seem to leave controversial impressions. While formally disguised as dark comedies or gangster movies, his films raise moral questions and provide food for thought.

While Kitano's international fame continues to rise, the Japanese public knows him primarily as a TV host and comedian.Template:Fact His portrayal of Zatōichi in the 2003 movie is saidTemplate:Weasel-inline to be his biggest domestic commercial success.

During interviews, Kitano is careful to hide his enigmatic personality behind the mask of being a comedian and regular guy. He hosts a weekly television program called Beat Takeshi's TV Tackle, a kind of panel discussion among entertainers and politicians regarding controversial current events. But Kitano's primary role is to provide comic relief and he rarely shares his true feelings regarding controversial social issues. Although he interviewed Shoko Asahara, founder of the controversial Japanese religious movement Aum Shinrikyo, on at least two occasions,Template:Fact his attitude towards religion is unknown.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Takeshi Kitano" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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