Written by Jack Herbert
Pushing the limits of taste
Director Takashi Miike is famous for 2 things: being highly prolific, and making highly bloody films. Since 1991, he has headed over 50 theatrical or television projects – 14 in 2001 and 2002 alone. Many of these films feature gruesome, cartoonish violence.
His career started with TV productions. There are rumors that he made a number of yakuza-funded, straight-to-video movies in money laundering schemes.
He rose to fame in 2000 with the release of ‘Audition’, a startling horror movie, and ‘Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha’, a violent yakuza epic.
His most controversial film is ‘Ichi the Killer’ (2001), the story of a sadomasochistic yakuza searching for a mysterious killer who’s targeting his gang. Gory scenes included a man being cut in half from head to groin, and someone’s face being sliced off. Sick bags were distributed at the movie’s premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, and the film was heavily cut in many of the countries it was released in.
However, his career has a less bloody side. Many of his films have been serious dramas, often about the lives of minority groups in Japan.