Director’s Chair Introduction: Takashi Miike

by Tony Cogan · March 9, 2020 · Director's Chair · 1 Comment

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Deadline: 4th April 2020

Hello everyone, it’s time to showcase who March’s featured director will be and this month, I’ve decided to focus on one of the most prolific directors featured on Director’s Chair, Takashi Miike.

Now Miike’s films are, to put it mildly varied. Whilst most Western audiences know him for his more violent output, Miike has worked in all manner of different genres, ranging from superhero films like Zebraman, manga adaptations like Blade of the Immortal, video game adaptations like Ace Attorney and musical romances like For Love’s Sake. A lot of times, Miike’s work covers multiple genres, Ace Attorney for example being a video game adaptation and courtroom drama and The Happiness of the Katakuri’s being a horror comedy musical. It’s hard to nail down exactly what a Takashi Miike film is because of how varied his filmography is.

For Western audiences though, like I said his more violent output is probably what people are familiar with, mainly Audition and Ichi The Killer. In some circles, Audition has been classed as one of the inspirations for so-called “torture porn” films and has influenced horror directors such as Eli Roth and The Soska Sisters. It has also been included in the 1001 Films To See Before You Die and has been noted as a personal favourite of Quentin Tarantino.

Ichi The Killer meanwhile leaned into the notorious reputation it has, handing out “barf bags” at film festivals showing it. It was subject to cuts when released outside of Japan, with the BBFC cutting out 3 minutes and 15 seconds for its UK release, whilst 16 minutes and 59 seconds were cut out of the Hong Kong release. In some countries, such as Finland, Germany and Malaysia, it was banned outright. Miike’s extreme work isn’t just limited to film. In 2005, Miike was invited to direct an episode of the anthology series Masters of Horror. The episode was deemed too disturbing to air on US TV and, whilst it has been released on DVD, it has still never been shown on TV in America uncut.

Miike has also had films of his premiere at Cannes, with Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai and Straw Shield competing at the 2011 and 2013 festivals respectively. His output is intense, usually working fast, i.e. Audition being shot in 3 weeks, and tends to release a least 2 films per year. As such, I am comfortable stating that Miike is going to be the filmmaker, who is still working today, who will have the largest filmmography of any director featured for Director’s Chair.

As a reminder, the films of Miike’s you can cover are listed below.

  • Daisan no Gokudo
  • Shinjuku Triad Society
  • Fudoh: The New Generation
  • Young Thugs: Innocent Blood
  • Rainy Dog
  • The Bird People in China
  • Andromeda
  • Blues Harp
  • Young Thugs: Nostalgia
  • Ley Lines
  • Audition
  • Dead or Alive
  • Salaryman Kintaro
  • The City of Lost Souls
  • The Guys From Paradise
  • Dead or Alive 2: Birds
  • Family
  • Ichi The Killer
  • Agitator
  • The Happiness of the Katakuris
  • Dead or Alive: Final
  • Graveyard of Honor
  • Shangri-La
  • Deadly Outlaw: Rekka
  • The Man in White
  • Gozu
  • One Missed Call
  • Zebraman
  • Izo
  • The Great Yokai War
  • Big Bang Love, Juvenile A
  • Waru
  • Sun Scarred
  • Sukiyaki Western Django
  • Crows Zero
  • Like a Dragon
  • Detective Story
  • God’s Puzzle
  • Yatterman
  • Crows Zero 2
  • 13 Assassins
  • Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City
  • Ninja Kids!!!
  • Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai
  • Ace Attorney
  • For Love’s Sake
  • Lesson of the Evil
  • Shield of Straw
  • The Mole Story: Undercover Agent Reiji
  • Over Your Dead Body
  • As the Gods Will
  • The Lion Standing in the Wind
  • Yakuza Apocalypse
  • Terra Formers
  • The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio
  • Blade of the Immortal
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Chapter 1
  • Laplace’s Witch
  • First Love

I look forward to reading whatever you send me.