Japanese actor-director Takeshi Kitano’s new movie ‘Kubi’ explores gay relations within the samurai world

Takeshi Kitano
| Photograph Credit score: Eugene Hoshiko

Japanese actor-director Takeshi Kitano says he wished his new movie “Kubi” to point out the world of samurai in ways in which mainstream motion pictures have not often finished earlier than, by portraying the gay, love-hate relationship of warlords in considered one of Japan’s greatest identified historic episodes.

“What is rarely proven is relationships between males at the moment, together with their gay relationships,” Kitano informed a information convention on the Overseas Correspondents’ Membership of Japan on Wednesday forward of the Nov. 23 opening of his movie in Japan.

The story of “Kubi,” or “neck,” exhibits the 1582 ambush of Oda Nobunaga, considered one of Japan’s best-known warlords, on the Honnoji temple in Kyoto by an aide, Akechi Mitsuhide.

Previous dramas from that interval have solely proven “very cool actors and fairly facets,” Kitano mentioned.

“This can be a interval when particularly males have been maintaining with their lives for different males inside these relationships, together with sexual relationships,” he mentioned. ”So I wished to delve into displaying these extra murky relationships.”

He wrote a script for the concept 30 years in the past, then launched the novel “Kubi” in 2019, resulting in his manufacturing of the movie. He additionally performs Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who takes over after Nobunaga, within the movie.

Kitano, 76, started his profession as humorist Beat Takeshi earlier than turning into a TV star.

Kitano mentioned he has seen the darkish aspect of the Japanese leisure business, which just lately has been shaken by a scandal involving the decades-long sexual abuse of tons of of boys by the late founding father of a robust expertise company. Not too long ago, the suicide of a member of a vastly common female-only theater firm Takarazuka prompted criticism over its alleged overwork and widespread bullying.

“In outdated days, within the Japanese leisure business, I would not go so far as calling it slavery, however individuals was handled a commodities, from which cash is made whereas displaying them off. That is one thing that is nonetheless left within the tradition of Japanese leisure,” Kitano mentioned.

In his early days as a comic, there have been instances when he was paid not even one-tenth of the price of his work, he mentioned. “There have been enhancements lately, however I’ve all the time thought extreme circumstances have existed.”

Kitano, who debuted as a movie director in 1989 with “Violent Cop” and gained the Golden Lion on the Venice Movie Pageant for “Hana-bi” in 1997, is understood for violent depictions in his gangster motion pictures like “Outrage.”

“Kubi,” which refers to conventional beheadings, has ample violence. Violence and comedy are an inseparable a part of every day lives, he mentioned.

“Laughter is a satan,” he mentioned. “When individuals are very critical, reminiscent of at weddings or funerals, we all the time have a comedy or a satan coming in and making individuals chuckle.”

Similar for violent movies, he mentioned. “Even once we are filming very critical scenes, there are comedic components that are available in on the set, because the satan is available in and makes individuals chuckle,” although these scenes are usually not within the last model of movies.

“Truly, my subsequent movie is about comedy inside violent movies,” Kitano mentioned. Will probably be a two-part movie, together with his personal violent story adopted by its parody model. “I believe I could make it work one way or the other.”

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