Outrage Takeshi Kitano

Outrage Takeshi Kitano
The man who put the "Yeah!!!!" in yakuza, Takeshi "Call Me Beat" Kitano returns with his first pure yakuza movie in far too long. The enigmatic Japanese icon responsible for redefining the genre with Sonatine and Hana-bi ups the ante with a film that's both graphically violent and violently funny (in true Kitano fashion). Outrage tells the tale of two yakuza families, initially congenial, which turn against each other, engaging in a brutal blood feud after a minor transgression, beginning when one underling acts the fool in a yakuza-run club. From that moment on, Outrage escalates into a Grand Guignol that makes Titus Andronicus look like Anne of Green Gables, but the film never feels stylishly sterile, which is a testament to Kitano's mastery of the lens. He depicts the grim insanity of the game of saving face and brinksmanship with an insider's eye, yet remains detached as the brutality manifests in slashed faces and mutilated mouths. And gunshots – lots and lots of gunshots. Kitano has always been fascinated by man's inherently violent nature and Outrage is punctuated by his trademark jack-in-the-box violence. He slices the measured calm open with a shocking sting that remains powerful no matter how many times it occurs. While there's often an element of gallows humour, Kitano's violence is not mere lip service to a fancy aesthetic; it's a tableau of desperation and amorality, where survival depends solely on the blackness of your soul. One of his many skills is populating his cast with actors with unique faces, or off-kilter methods of delivering dialogue, which usually complements his quirky yet convincing method of performance. Although everyone is some shade of psychopath (there are no redeeming characters), Kitano keeps his film engaging by keeping his characterizations unique. Outrage is an elegy for a dying underworld. This release contains no special features, but with Outrage 2 currently in production, perhaps something grander is in the works. (Mongrel Media)