Revealed to the world with the shocking Audition, Takashi Miike has directed over 50 films in the space of 11 years. Films like Dead or Alive, The City of Lost. Fully revised and updated edition of the bestselling guide to Japan’s most prolific and successful film director Takashi Miike. This third pressing ofAgitator. : Agitator: The Cinema Of Takashi Miike () by Tom Mes and a great selection of similar New, Used and Collectible Books.
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An essential purchase for anyone wanting to know where cinema is heading in the 21st century” —Pete Tombs, Author of Mondo Macabro.
He has been praised and reviled, hyped and ignored, lauded and censored. But rarely have the films of Takashi Miike been properly studied. Agitator – The Cinema of Takashi Miike finally fills that gap by being the world’s first study devoted entirely to the work of this director.
Written by Midnight Eye’s very own Tom Mes, with full cooperation from Takashi Miike himself, it details the entire body of work of this highly prolific filmmaker, whose films are provocative but also remarkably consistent.
At pages, including 8 pages in full colour, Agitator – The Cinema of Takashi Miike is an exhaustive, richly detailed and impeccably tkaashi look at the work of one of the mlike most talked-about filmmakers. How did you discover the films of Takashi Miike? And what were your first impressions of the filmmaker’s work?
I saw my first Mike film in earlyat the Rotterdam Film Festival, which would become his big international breakthrough. They were showing three Miike films that year, including Audition.
But the first one I saw was Dead or Takasji and it just knocked me out cold. Mlike remember coming out of the theatre full of energy. Seeing that film with no preconceptions about what it was or who its director was, was an incredibly invigorating experience. Then when I saw Audition a few days later, there was no way back.
His movies were so full of guts, so full of invention and just pure joy, they really impressed me deeply. It came from watching the films, really. I went to Japan in and found a lot of his films on video and DVD, rare stuff that was never released outside Japan and still isn’t for the most part. Watching those, I started to notice all these very consistent themes and motifs in his sgitator.
Once I managed to get a handle on exactly what those themes were and how they interacted, and once I realised that I’d never heard or read anything about that aspect of his work, the decision was made cinemw quickly.
A lot of movies to watch! I probably spent more time watching his films than writing about them, because agitaator made so many. The start was like I said, discovering the recurring themes in his work. At first I thought I would write a magazine article about it or something, but it quickly expanded into something much bigger. Once I’d decided I was going to do a book I started contacting the Japanese distributors of some of his films to see if they would help me find the films I still missed.
The response was really positive, which certainly lifted a weight off my shoulders. It’s one thing wanting to write a book, but you really need the support from the film industry, especially with a director who has worked for so many different production companies over the years.
Agitator: the cinema of Takashi Miike – Tom Mes, Shinʼya Tsukamoto – Google Books
I told Miike about the book in early at a film festival and he offered to help out any way he could, which was another great relief. During that trip I also miraculously managed to find all the films I was still missing by scouring every second-hand video store in Tokyo and Yokohama.
I found the last one on the very last day of my stay! I then spent the entire summer and most of the fall of watching all the films again and writing the book. The actual agitaor took six months.
Midnight Eye feature: Agitator: The Cinema of Takashi Miike
I could have picked a worse director to write a book about, because he has been helpful beyond the call tkashi duty. He’s a very calm, friendly, down-to-earth person, who is a great conversationalist with an intriguing, almost philosophical outlook on life and his own work. At the same time he’s entirely devoid of pretension. He was very genuinely surprised when he heard I was writing a book about him, he just never considered that anyone would look at his work in such a way.
Was it easy inking the deal with FAB Press? Were you also sending it around to other publishers before FAB picked it up, or were they your first choice? FAB was my first choice and things went very smoothly with them. I chose to send it to them first and they immediately said yes, so I was very lucky.
The reason I chose FAB is because I had the feeling that they would be open to a book about a director who wasn’t yet universally recognised, but who nevertheless had a growing audience.
FAB seemed to be very dedicated to publishing quality writing cinemma filmmakers that the kf of publishers would ignore.
And it turned out Harvey Fenton, the owner of FAB Press, was really interested in Miike’s work and knew about him from back in the days when Fudoh was first shown at the Fantasia festival in Canada. He too felt that there was a tne more to be said about this director than what was being said, so he’s been very supportive of the things I tqkashi to achieve with the book, which was to bring discussion about Miike’s work to an entirely different level.
I have two absolute favourites. One is Dead fakashi Alive 2, which is an incredibly, meticulously well-constructed film that manages to be touching and human at the same time. The more you watch it, the better it becomes. The other is completely unknown outside Japan and doesn’t even have an English title. It’s called Kishiwada Shonen Gurentai – Bokyo, which translates roughly as ‘Boy hooligans from Kishiwada – nostalgia’.
Kishiwada is a working class neighbourhood of Osaka, very similar to the one Miike himself grew up in. The film is set at the end of the sixties and portrays a couple of months in the life a year-old boy, takaehi all the phoney rites-of-passage bullshit. It’s extremely funny and sad and violent all at the same time, and it borders on criminal that this film isn’t available to a wider audience.
Nathan Tyler is a Toronto-based writer, journalist, and editor. His articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in Rue Morgue and Fangoria, and he is currently working on his first book. Takashi Miike’s early years, from his first agiyator with frogs and firecrackers at age 5 to getting his first shot at directing 26 years later.
Agitator: The Cinema of Takashi Miike
With exclusive photographs from Takashi Miike’s own collection! An in-depth look at his takshi made-for-video films, from ‘s Eyecatch Junction to ‘s Osaka Tough Guys. A complete filmography with cast and crew credits, running times, Japanese titles, release info and more. Detailed information on all existing DVD releases of Miike’s films, with info on region coding, subtitles, extra features, etc.
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The Cinema of Takashi Miike published 1 July An essential purchase for anyone wanting to know where cinema is heading in the 21st century” —Pete Tombs, Author of Mondo Macabro Agitator – The Cinema of Takashi Miike — The groundbreaking book by Tom Mes He has been tamashi and reviled, hyped and ignored, takazhi and censored.
In-depth analyses of every Miike film ever made, including theatrical, video and TV productions Takashi Miike’s own diary of the making of the controversial Ichi the Killer A career-spanning interview A look at Miike’s work as actor and producer A complete filmography, with cast and crew details and release info Detailed information on DVD availability Foreword by Makoto Shinozaki Afterword by Shinya Tsukamoto Over stills and illustrations, including photos from Takashi Miike’s private collection, and brand new photographs of the director taken exclusively for this imike.
When did you make the agihator to write a book about Miike? What was the process of writing the book like? What’s Miike like as a person, in real life? What is your favourite Takashi Miike film, and why? Chapter 5 – Stray Dog Miike as actor, producer and other non-directorial activities. Chapter 6 – Ichi the Killer production diary Takashi Miike’s own diary of his experiences making the notorious Ichi the Killer. Chapter 8 – Filmography A complete filmography with cast and crew credits, running times, Japanese titles, release info and more.
Afterword by Shinya Tsukamoto “The first book to be published about Japan’s bad-boy helmer is a delight. Books by Midnight Eye Re-Agitator: Mailing list Stay agtiator to date with the latest and best in Japanese cinema.