Release Date: January 24th, 1998 (Japan)
UK Release Date: January 11th, 2016
UK Distributor: Third Window Films
Running Time: 125 mins.
Director: Takeshi Kitano
Writer: Takeshi Kitano (Screenplay),
Starring: Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima, Tetsu Watanabe,
Takeshi Kitano is one of the major figures in the Japanese movie industry. He graduated from television to the film scene in the 1980s with a role in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983). His real impact was felt in 1989 with Violent Cop, the film with which he established himself as a director of crime tales. Soon, his presence became synonymous with the Japanese hardman but it is arguable that his best films don’t feature him on the screen at all as people who have seen A Scene at the Sea (1991) and Kids Return (1996) may attest. When Kitano is present on screen he sizzles with barely restrained energy and coolness and a cracked sentimentality of sorts. No film epitomises this more than Hana-bi (1997), a title where his writing and directing reached its heights of brilliance.