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GreenCine Movie Talk
Foreign
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

Takashi Miike
Topic by: villain
Posted: May 12, 2004 - 8:52 PM PDT
Last Reply: May 27, 2005 - 10:56 PM PDT

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author topic: Takashi Miike
villain
post #1  on May 12, 2004 - 8:52 PM PDT  
takashi miike (audition, ichi the killer, visitor q, city of lost souls, dead or alive 1-3, fudoh, etc.) has easily become one of my favorite directors. i've yet to be disappointed by one of his films. and each film of his i see gets crazier and crazier. even if the insanity is subtle.

i love the fact that he knows no bounds. he's not afraid to be honest and pure with his art. and i don't think he cares who he offends. which is why i love his films so much!

and this brings me to the main reason i'm starting this thread:
do any of you know how popular takashi miike's films are in japan? is he treated like a leper (as he would here), or a hero?
not that it matters much to me, but i am curious. i'm curious as to how open minded the japanese audiences are to his work. i gotta assume that he's popular because he's made so many films.

one last thing. does anyone out there know how to properly pronounce his last name?
Eoliano
post #2  on May 12, 2004 - 9:22 PM PDT  
> takashi miike

mee- ee-kay

> each film of his i see gets crazier and crazier. even if the insanity is subtle.

Surely you meant to say unsubtle!

> do any of you know how popular takashi miike's films are in japan? is he treated like a leper (as he would here), or a hero?

He's not considered a leper or a hero but he's quite popular. You might want to check out the reviews and articles on Miike at Midnight Eye.
hamano
post #3  on May 12, 2004 - 9:23 PM PDT  
His last name is pronounced MI-I-KE. MI is the character for "three" and I-KE is the character for "pond"... three ponds. Say MI like the English Me as in Me Myself & I. Say I-KE like "EEK!" and EH? stuck together. MI I KE.

From what I've seen, Japanese write about him like he's a bit of a surprise. The articles seem to often mention that he was picked by TIME magazine to be a future director to watch.

He was born in 1960, he went to film school, and apprenticed with Shohei Imamura among others. He directed his first film in 1995.
hamano
post #4  on May 12, 2004 - 9:27 PM PDT  
> On May 12, 2004 - 9:22 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > takashi miike
>
> mee- ee-kay

I'd say it's more like a KEH than a KAY at the end! But then again, American bottles for the Japanese sake brewer Gekkeikan suggest that you pronounce it GAY-KEE-CAN, so what the hell.
^_^
Eoliano
post #5  on May 12, 2004 - 10:40 PM PDT  
> > mee- ee-kay
>
> I'd say it's more like a KEH than a KAY at the end! But then again, American bottles for the Japanese sake brewer Gekkeikan suggest that you pronounce it GAY-KEE-CAN, so what the hell.
> ^_^

KEH is correct my dear hamano, though as you well know, us Yankees have problems with double vowels. I'm drinking a bottle of Yaegaki sake but unfortunately they don't tell me how to pronounce it correctly.

See that, we're off topic again and what are we talking about?
Eoliano
post #6  on May 13, 2004 - 7:56 AM PDT  
Hey villain, here's the Midnight Eye review of Miike's most recent film, Gozu, a Bright Lights review of Odishon, and a pointer to book reviews for Agitator - The Cinema of Takashi Miike by Tom Mes. What's more, you might want to head over to your nearest Borders and look for Mark Shillings The Yakuza Book which features an interview with Miike.

Btw, discussing Miike definitely is not "off topic", and fits more into the Foreign category under GreenCine Movie Talk.
hamano
post #7  on May 13, 2004 - 8:04 AM PDT  
Yeah, underdog! Wrangle up some techies and move this thread over to Foreign or Cult!
IWhitney
post #8  on May 13, 2004 - 8:39 AM PDT  
> On May 13, 2004 - 7:56 AM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> a pointer to book reviews for Agitator - The Cinema of Takashi Miike by Tom Mes.
> ---------------------------------

I bought that book, and it's a good resource; especially if you want to read about all the Miike films that you can't get outside of Japan.

BTW, I sent some e-mail to Mr. Mes last week, trying to clear up some confusion I had over Shinjuku Triad Society. It looks like the UK DVD release completely mis-translates the ending, seriously changing the tone of the film. Good job, Tartan.

Tom said that the three Shinjuku Triad films (Shinjuku Triad Society, Rainy Dog, Ley Lines) are scheduled for a US release this year. Hopefully they will use a correct translation.
underdog
post #9  on May 13, 2004 - 9:50 AM PDT  
> On May 13, 2004 - 8:04 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Yeah, underdog! Wrangle up some techies and move this thread over to Foreign or Cult!
> ---------------------------------

I waved me magic wand and voila! You've traveled abroad.


Me-eye-kay,
C
ColonelKong
post #10  on May 13, 2004 - 9:58 AM PDT  
One thing that I find interesting about Miike's films is that they have quite a few non-Japanese characters, I can't think of too many yakuza movies that feature a Brazilian hero and his Chinese girlfriend. How many other contemporary Japanese filmmakers have similarly multi-ethnic casts in their films?

I've seen seven Miike films so far (Fudoh, Audition, Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive 2, Ichi The Killer, Happiness of the Katakuris, City of Lost Souls), and I'd consider all of then must-sees for Miike fans, how many of his other must-see films are carried by GC? (I think I have all of the Miike discs I haven't watched yet on my GC queue).

Just out of curiousity, what's Miike's most "family friendly" film to date? Happiness of the Katakuris is the closest one that I've seen so far, but it would probably still be an R-rated film in the US. (Who else is dying to see "Happiness of The Simpsons" in a future "Treehouse of Terror" episode? Maybe Comic Book Guy could play the sumo wrester!)
ColonelKong
post #11  on May 13, 2004 - 10:03 AM PDT  
Anyone else here think that the opening scene of Happiness of the Katakuris is a great metaphor for watching a Miike film? In a way, it's sort of like finding a weird little claymation angel creature in your cinematic soup. :)
hamano
post #12  on May 13, 2004 - 10:15 AM PDT  
> On May 13, 2004 - 9:58 AM PDT ColonelKong wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> One thing that I find interesting about Miike's films is that they have quite a few non-Japanese characters, I can't think of too many yakuza movies that feature a Brazilian hero and his Chinese girlfriend. How many other contemporary Japanese filmmakers have similarly multi-ethnic casts in their films?

I've actually not seen enough Miike films to really comment, but the multitude of "foreign" characters might be an influence of anime/manga, where both foreign characters and Japanese characters with alternative hair colors abound. It could also be an influence of Hong Kong action films, where Chinese often have English names (due to the long British colonial rule, I guess). ALSO, it could just be an outgrowth of having more foreigners living in Japan. If you walk around Narita airport nowadays, you meet all sorts of people from different countries, and many of them are NOT just in transit to Thailand or Vietnam or something. It's quite obvious Japan is their final destination.

Probably, for Miike, being "foreign" is an useful shorthand for being an "outsider" to set his character(s) apart from all the other cookie-cutter Japanese characters.
dh22
post #13  on May 13, 2004 - 10:24 AM PDT  
> On May 12, 2004 - 10:40 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> See that, we're off topic again and what are we talking about?
> ---------------------------------

http://www.greencine.com/board?action=viewTopic&forumID=12&topicID=1409
IWhitney
post #14  on May 13, 2004 - 10:45 AM PDT  
> On May 13, 2004 - 9:58 AM PDT ColonelKong wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> One thing that I find interesting about Miike's films is that they have quite a few non-Japanese characters, I can't think of too many yakuza movies that feature a Brazilian hero and his Chinese girlfriend. How many other contemporary Japanese filmmakers have similarly multi-ethnic casts in their films?
>
> ---------------------------------

Of the 5 or so major themes that Tom Mes focuses on in that book is Miike's fascination with foreigners in Japan or Japanese in foreign countries. Related to that is his fascination with non-traditional families - the Brazillian community in in City or the gangsters in the original DOA.

One of the things I like about Miike is that, although all of his films are very different, they still share these common concerns.
lizzoqops
post #15  on May 13, 2004 - 11:16 AM PDT  
> On May 13, 2004 - 10:03 AM PDT ColonelKong wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Anyone else here think that the opening scene of Happiness of the Katakuris is a great metaphor for watching a Miike film? In a way, it's sort of like finding a weird little claymation angel creature in your cinematic soup. :)
> ---------------------------------

And then it grabs you by the uvula and refuses to let go!

I noticed Miike's "Graveyard of Honor" is listed as request-able, everyone should do that. It's a great movie.

On another note, I'd highly recommend:
The Bird People of China-Miike's most beautiful work
Visitor Q- not for the faint of heart, but this is the ultimate family values movie- if your family is rated X
Full Metal Gokudo (yakuza)- a "B" movie for die-hard B movie fans (maybe for die-hard Miike fans, too). I love it, but that's just me. If you like older Fukasaku, I think you'll get it.

I can't highly recommend DOA: Final or Andromedia, although they have their moments.

Lizzo
sinisterguffaw
post #16  on May 13, 2004 - 11:36 AM PDT  
> On May 13, 2004 - 9:58 AM PDT ColonelKong wrote:
> ---------------------------------
....
(Who else is dying to see "Happiness of The Simpsons" in a future "Treehouse of Terror" episode? Maybe Comic Book Guy could play the sumo wrester!)
> ---------------------------------

And Artie Ziff as the "romantic captain" guy... I was way too drunk to follow what was going on in that movie, but boy did I love it!

Something about Miike that I really like is his endings. They're always so over the top, except for maybe Audition, which still left me mystified. Dead or Alive has the best ending ever!
kamapuaa
post #17  on May 13, 2004 - 1:12 PM PDT  
> Something about Miike that I really like is his endings. They're always so over the top, except for maybe Audition, which still left me mystified.

Audition's ending wasn't over the top???!!!??? I saw it at the Castro theater, and maybe 80% of the audience walked out! (Saw Dead or Alive in a Richmond theater about at the same time - the audience stayed in their seats after the ending, they couldn't believe a movie would end that way and though there must be more.)

> a pointer to book reviews for Agitator - The Cinema of Takashi Miike by Tom Mes.

Wow, cool. Too bad the local libraries don't carry it, and I'm too cheap to part with $25 for such a book.

> do any of you know how popular takashi miike's films are in japan? is he treated like a leper (as he would here), or a hero?

Last time I was in Tokyo, I was set on seeing one of his movies in a theater (although he's mostly direct-to-video). I didn't, but I mentioned him in conversation some, and nobody had even heard of him. Maybe he's almost as cult in Japan, as he is in the US?

> I've actually not seen enough Miike films to really comment, but the multitude of "foreign" characters might be an influence of anime/manga,

Could be a lot of things. To me it comes off as a fascination with Tokyo's underworld, and foreigners are a distinctive feature. Also, I thought "Bird People in China" was pretty patronizing. But, who knows how much of it is him, how much is the scripts he's given, and how much is just fulfilling what the made-for-video expects? I'm only vaguely familiar with Japanese B-Movies, I'm sure that some of the elements that surprise an American audience, are commonplace to the genre.
sinisterguffaw
post #18  on May 13, 2004 - 4:31 PM PDT  
> On May 13, 2004 - 1:12 PM PDT kamapuaa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Audition's ending wasn't over the top???!!!???
__________________________________

Nope. It wasn't. However, I may have misled you. Let me correct myself. I meant to say

They're always so over the top, except for maybe Audition. However, Audition still left me mystified.

Dead or Alive was over the top. Audition was mysterious and strange... and I couldn't believe it ended that way.
dh22
post #19  on May 13, 2004 - 8:13 PM PDT  
I so was not impressed with Dead or Alives ending. I thought it was pointless and childish.
ColonelKong
post #20  on May 13, 2004 - 8:28 PM PDT  
> Something about Miike that I really like is his endings. They're always so over the top, except for maybe Audition, which still left me mystified. Dead or Alive has the best ending ever!

One of the best openings ever too, I think that when I was a kid, that's what I imagined all R-rated movies were like! The stuff in-between isn't bad either. I also really liked the ending of City of Lost Souls, and the really wacked final scene of Happiness of the Katakuris. I think that the first DOA, Audition, and Happiness of the Katakuris are my three favorite Miike flicks so far, those are the ones I'd recommend to anyone who's never seen one to show how difficult Miike is to pigeonhole. I know that he doesn't write the scripts for his movies, but I think that his involvement probably goes beyond simply being a "director for hire", and he does put a strong creative stamp on the films he works on. (Some of his films are proabably more "director for hire" than others, I wonder how many of the scripts he directs were originally concieved as being Takashi Miike movies.)

BTW, I assumed that Miike was just pronounced "Me-Kay". I don't suppose it matters much since I don't really know too many people in person who watch a signifigant number of Japanese movies.

One more thing, does anyone else wish that Quentin Tarantino had found some kind of role for Riki Takeuchi in Kill Bill? I love his facial expressions.
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