Director: Takeshi Kitano
Year Released: 1999
"Lost control?" Takeshi-san? No no no ... this is, without a doubt, one of the most humorous movies I've seen in a long time - one that isn't concerned with its plot (a cliche: grumpy old man meets distraught young lad, he is initially perturbed but grows fond of the boy) but with what someone who actually knows what he/she is talking about calls pure cinema: in Kitano's case, he's interested in visual creativity and inventiveness (he uses insects and sunglasses for the audience's POV), none on plot development (it's a road movie). Frankly, I haven't seen stuff like this since Tati - no, no, Kitano isn't that good but he's certainly getting there - and the result is spontaneous, free and compelling. The sequence in which "Beat" pretends to be blind is played perfectly. "Fireworks" is better, but this is a nice addition to the impressive oeuvre the Japanese filmmaker is making for himself, and also, if I might say, quietly poignant and a tad morose. Interestingly, the Village Voice's avant-garde cheerleader J. Hoberman had the gumption to defend it when others were stepping on it.