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Japanese actor-director Kitano says his new movie explores gay relations within the samurai world

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TOKYO — Japanese actor-director Takeshi Kitano says he needed his new movie “Kubi” to indicate the world of samurai in ways in which mainstream motion pictures have not often accomplished earlier than, by portraying the gay, love-hate relationship of warlords in one among Japan‘s finest identified historic episodes.

“What isn’t proven is relationships between males at the moment, together with their gay relationships,” Kitano advised a information convention on the Overseas Correspondents’ Membership of Japan on Wednesday forward of the Nov. 23 opening of his movie in Japan.

The story of “Kubi,” or “neck,” exhibits the 1582 ambush of Oda Nobunaga, one among Japan’s best-known warlords, on the Honnoji temple in Kyoto by an aide, Akechi Mitsuhide.

Previous dramas from that interval have solely proven “very cool actors and fairly facets,” Kitano stated.

“This can be a interval when particularly males had been maintaining with their lives for different males inside these relationships, together with sexual relationships,” he stated. ”So I needed to delve into exhibiting these extra murky relationships.”

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He wrote a script for the concept 30 years in the past, then launched the novel “Kubi” in 2019, resulting in his manufacturing of the movie. He additionally performs Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who takes over after Nobunaga, within the movie.

Kitano, 76, started his profession as humorist Beat Takeshi earlier than turning into a TV star.

Kitano stated he has seen the darkish facet of the Japanese leisure business, which not too long ago has been shaken by a scandal involving the decades-long sexual abuse of tons of of boys by the late founding father of a strong expertise company. Not too long ago, the suicide of a member of a vastly standard female-only theater firm Takarazuka prompted criticism over its alleged overwork and widespread bullying.

“In {old} days, within the Japanese leisure business, I would not go so far as calling it slavery, however folks was once handled a commodities, from which cash is made whereas exhibiting them off. That is one thing that is nonetheless left within the tradition of Japanese leisure,” Kitano stated.

In his early days as a comic, there have been occasions when he was paid not even one-tenth of the value of his work, he stated. “There have been enhancements lately, however I’ve all the time thought extreme circumstances have existed.”

Kitano, who debuted as a movie director in 1989 with “Violent Cop” and received the Golden Lion on the Venice Movie Pageant for “Hana-bi” in 1997, is thought for violent depictions in his gangster motion pictures like “Outrage.”

“Kubi,” which refers to conventional beheadings, has ample violence. Violence and comedy are an inseparable a part of each day lives, he stated.

“Laughter is a satan,” he stated. “When persons are very severe, reminiscent of at weddings or funerals, we all the time have a comedy or a satan coming in and making folks chortle.”

Identical for violent movies, he stated. “Even once we are filming very severe scenes, there are comedic components that are available in on the set, because the satan is available in and makes folks chortle,” although these scenes will not be within the ultimate model of movies.

“Really, my subsequent movie is about comedy inside violent movies,” Kitano stated. It will likely be a two-part movie, along with his personal violent story adopted by its parody model. “I feel I could make it work one way or the other.”

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