From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Born||August 24, 1960
Yao, Osaka, Japan
Takashi Miike (三池 崇史 Miike Takashi?) (born August 24, 1960) is a highly prolific and controversial Japanese filmmaker. He has directed over sixty theatrical, video, and television productions since his debut in 1991. In the years 2001 and 2002 alone, Miike is credited with directing no fewer than fourteen productions.
 Early life
Miike was born in Yao, Osaka, Japan. Although he claimed to have attended classes only rarely, he graduated from Yokohama Vocational School of Broadcast and Film (Yokohama Hoso Eiga Senmon Gakko) under the guidance of renowned filmmaker Shohei Imamura, the founder and Dean of that institution.
Miike's first films were television productions, but he also began directing several direct-to-video V-Cinema releases. (These were purportedly financed as money-laundering operations for the yakuza, although there has never been any conclusive proof of this.) Miike still directs V-Cinema productions intermittently due to the creative freedom afforded by the less stringent censorship of the medium and the riskier content that the producers will allow.
Miike's theatrical debut was Shinjuku Triad Society (1995). The film showcased his extreme style and his recurring themes, and its success gave him the freedom to work on higher-budgeted pictures. Shinjuku Triad Society is also the first film in what is labeled his "Black Society Trilogy", which also includes Rainy Dog (1997) and Ley Lines (1999). He gained international fame in 2000 when his romantic horror film Audition (1999) and his violent yakuza epic Dead or Alive (1999) played at international film festivals. He has since gained a strong cult following in the West that is growing with the increase in DVD releases of his works.
 Themes of his work
Miike has garnered international notoriety for depicting shocking scenes of extreme violence and bizarre sexual perversions. Many of his films contain graphic and lurid bloodshed, often portrayed in an over-the-top, cartoonish manner. Much of his work depicts the activities of criminals (especially yakuza) or concern themselves with non-Japanese living in Japan. He is known for his black sense of humor and for pushing the boundaries of censorship as far as they will go.
It should be noted that, despite his somewhat notorious reputation, Miike has also proven himself to be capable of directing lighthearted children's films (Zebraman, The Great Yokai War), touching period pieces (Sabu), and subdued, moving pictures such as the road movie The Bird People in China. His dabbling in every sort of genre and emotional range is a testament to his versatility as a director, though a lot of his output is genre-defying. For example, The Happiness of the Katakuris is an unconventional farcical musical-comedy-horror involving a bizarre claymation sequence, zombies and b-movie pastiches.
Other less controversial works include Ley Lines and Agitator, character-driven, serious crime dramas. Graveyard of Honor (2002) is a remake of the 1975 Kinji Fukasaku film by the same name. Andoromedeia, perhaps one of his less renowned films, is a teen drama starring the J-pop girl-band SPEED.
Critics have sometimes noted the puzzling discrepancy of Miike's artistic development noting that he appears to be simultaneously becoming more radical and more mainstream a director. Films like One Missed Call are his most commercial works to date while films like Izo and the "Box" segment in Three... Extremes are less accessible and target arthouse audiences and fans of extreme cinema.
Despite Miike's voluminous output, it would be erroneous to consider him a dilettante or a director for hire. Academics have recognized Miike as an auteur, noting much depth as well as stylistic and thematic consistency in his body of work. Reoccurring themes and imagery in his work include reincarnation, birds, family, chaos and order. Films like Visitor Q and Izo are highly philosophical beneath their violent, taboo-laden exterior. This mingled with his imaginative and often idiosyncratic cinematography makes his work instantly recognizable regardless of the genre he works in.
Miike's style is often regarded by detractors as offensively misogynistic, though usually Miike's female characters retain ultimate power, which they use to overturn established principles of Japanese patriarchy (e.g. Audition (1999), Visitor Q (2001)).
One of his most controversial films was the ultra-violent Ichi the Killer (2001), adapted from a manga of the same name and starring Tadanobu Asano as a sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer. The extreme violence was initially exploited to promote the film: during its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2001, the audience received "barf bags" emblazoned with the film's logo as a promotional gimmick (one typically flamboyant gory killing involves a character slicing a man in half from head to groin, and severing another's face, which then slides down a nearby wall).
However, the British Board of Film Classification refused to allow the release of the film uncut in Britain, citing its extreme levels of sexual violence towards women. Many regarded this as inconsistency, as they had recently passed Irréversible (2002), a film featuring a nine-minute rape scene, uncut. In Hong Kong, 15 minutes of footage was cut. In the United States it has been shown uncut (although unrated). An uncut DVD was also released in the Benelux.
In 2005, Miike was invited to direct an episode of the Masters of Horror anthology series. The series, featuring episodes by a range of established horror directors such as John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper and Dario Argento, was supposed to provide directors with relative creative freedom and relaxed restrictions on violent and sexual content (Some violent content was edited from the Dario Argento-directed episode Jenifer). However, when the Showtime cable network acquired the rights to the series, the Miike-directed episode Imprint was apparently too graphic and disturbing for the network. Showtime cancelled it from the broadcast lineup even after extended negotiations, though it was retained as part of the series' DVD release. Mick Garris, creator and executive producer of the series, described the episode as "amazing, but hard even for me to watch... definitely the most disturbing film I've ever seen".
While Imprint has yet to air in the United States, it has aired on Bravo in the UK and on FX in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, The Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. Anchor Bay Entertainment, which has handled the DVD releases for the Masters of Horror series in the US, released Imprint on R1 DVD on September 26, 2006.
 Personal life
Miike is almost never publicly seen without wearing sunglasses.
He wrote the foreword to Iron Man: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto by Tom Mes and provided a commentary for his segment "Box" from the film "Three Extremes" on the Region 1 DVD release.
|1991||(Rasuto ran: Ai to uragiri no hyaku-oku en - shissō Feraari 250 GTO)||(unknown)||Rasuto ran: Ai to uragiri no hyaku-oku en - shissō Feraari 250 GTO
Last Run: Ai to uragiri no ¥10 000 000 000 - shissō Ferrari 250 GTO
|(Toppū! Minipato tai - Aikyacchi Jankushon)||突風！ ミニパト隊 アイキャッチ・ジャンクション||Toppū! Minipato tai - Aikyacchi Jankushon||Video|
|(Redi hantā: Koroshi no pureryuudo)||レディハンター 殺しのプレュード||Redi hantā: Koroshi no pureryūdo||Video|
|1992||A Human Murder Weapon||人間兇器 愛と怒りのリング||Ningen kyōki: Ai to ikari no ringu||Video|
|1993||Bodyguard Kiba||ボディガード牙||Bodigādo Kiba||Video|
|(Oretachi wa tenshi ja nai)||俺達は天使じゃない||Oretachi wa tenshi ja nai||Video|
|(Oretachi wa tenshi ja nai 2)||俺達は天使じゃない２||Oretachi wa tenshi ja nai 2||Video|
|1994||Shinjuku Outlaw||新宿アウトロー||Shinjuku autorou||Video|
|(Shura no mokushiroku: Bodigādo Kiba)||修羅の黙示録 ボディーガード牙||Shura no mokushiroku: Bodigādo Kiba||Video|
|1995||(Daisan no gokudō)||第三の極道||Daisan no gokudō||Film|
|(Shura no mokushiroku 2: Bodigādo Kiba)||修羅の黙示録２ ボディーガード牙||Shura no mokushiroku 2: Bodigādo Kiba||Video|
|Osaka Tough Guys||なにわ遊侠伝||Naniwa yūkyōden||Video|
|Shinjuku Triad Society||新宿黒社会 チャイナ マフィア戦争||Shinjuku kuroshakai: Chaina mafia sensō||Film|
|1996||(Shin daisan no gokudō: boppatsu Kansai gokudō sensō)||新・第三の極道 勃発 関西極道ウォーズ！！||Shin daisan no gokudō: boppatsu Kansai gokudō sensō||Video|
|(Shin daisan no gokudō II)||新・第三の極道ＩＩ||Shin daisan no gokudō II||Video|
|(Jingi naki yabō)||仁義なき野望||Jingi naki yabō||Video|
|(Piinattsu: Rakkasei)||ピイナッツ 落華星||Piinattsu: Rakkasei||Video|
|The Way To Fight||喧嘩の花道 大阪最強伝説||Kenka no hanamichi: Ōsaka saikyō densetsu||Video|
|Fudoh: The New Generation||極道戦国志 不動||Gokudō sengokushi: Fudō||Film|
|1997||(Jingi naki yabō 2)||仁義なき野望２||Jingi naki yabō 2||Video|
|Young Thugs: Innocent Blood||岸和田少年愚連隊 血煙り純情篇||Kishiwada shōnen gurentai: Chikemuri junjō-hen||Film|
|Rainy Dog||極道黒社会 ＲＡＩＮＹ ＤＯＧ||Gokudō kuroshakai||Film|
|Full Metal Yakuza||ＦＵＬＬ ＭＥＴＡＬ 極道||Full Metal gokudō||Video|
|1998||The Bird People in China||中国の鳥人||Chûgoku no chôjin||Film|
|Blues Harp||ＢＬＵＥＳ ＨＡＲＰ||n/a||Film|
|Young Thugs: Nostalgia||岸和田少年愚連隊 望郷||Kishiwada shōnen gurentai: Bōkyō||Film|
|Man, A Natural Girl||(unknown)||"Tennen shōjo Man"||(unknown)|
|Ley Lines||日本黒社会||Nihon kuroshakai||Film|
|(Silver: shirubā)||シルバー ＳＩＬＶＥＲ||Silver: shirubā||Video|
|Dead or Alive||ＤＥＡＤ ＯＲ ＡＬＩＶＥ 犯罪者||Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha||Film|
White Collar Worker Kintaro
|Man, Next Natural Girl: 100 Nights In Yokohama
N-Girls Vs Vampire
|(unknown)||Tennen shōjo Man next: Yokohama hyaku-ya hen||TV|
|2000||The Making of 'Gemini'||(unknown)||Tsukamoto Shin'ya ga Ranpo suru||TV documentary|
|MPD Psycho||多重人格探偵サイコ||"Tajū jinkaku tantei saiko: Amamiya Kazuhiko no kikan"||TV miniseries|
|The City of Lost Souls
The City of Strangers
The Hazard City
|漂流街 ＴＨＥ ＨＡＺＡＲＤ ＣＩＴＹ||Hyōryū-gai||Film|
|The Guys from Paradise||天国から来た男たち||Tengoku kara kita otoko-tachi||(unknown)|
|Dead or Alive 2: Birds
Dead or Alive 2: Runaway
|ＤＥＡＤ ＯＲ ＡＬＩＶＥ ２ 逃亡者||Dead or Alive 2: Tōbōsha||Film|
|2001||(Kikuchi-jō monogatari: sakimori-tachi no uta)||鞠智城物語 防人たちの唄||Kikuchi-jō monogatari: sakimori-tachi no uta||(unknown)|
|(Zuiketsu gensō: Tonkararin yume densetsu)||(unknown)||Zuiketsu gensō: Tonkararin yume densetsu||(unknown)|
|Visitor Q||ビジターＱ||Bijitā Q||Film|
|Ichi the Killer||殺し屋１||Koroshiya 1||Film|
|The Happiness of the Katakuris||カタクリ家の幸福||Katakuri-ke no kōfuku||Film|
|2002||Dead or Alive: Final||ＤＥＡＤ ＯＲ ＡＬＩＶＥ ＦＩＮＡＬ||n/a||Film|
|(Onna kunishū ikki)||おんな 国衆一揆||Onna kunishū ikki||(unknown)|
|Graveyard of Honor||(unknown)||Shin jingi no hakaba||Film|
|Shangri-La||(unknown)||Kin'yū hametsu Nippon: Tōgenkyō no hito-bito||(unknown)|
|Deadly Outlaw: Rekka
|(unknown)||Jitsuroku Andō Noboru kyōdō-den: Rekka||Film|
|(Pāto-taimu tantei)||(unknown)||Pāto-taimu tantei||TV series|
|2003||The Man In White||(unknown)||Yurusarezaru mono||(unknown)|
|Gozu||極道恐怖大劇場 牛頭 ＧＯＺＵ||Gokudō kyōfu dai-gekijō: Gozu||Film|
|Yakuza Demon||鬼哭 ｋｉｋｏｋｕ||Kikoku||Video|
|One Missed Call
You've Got a Call
|(Paato-taimu tantei 2)||(unknown)||Paato-taimu tantei 2||(unknown)|
|Box segment in Three... Extremes||三更2||Saam gaang yi||Segment in feature film|
|2005||Ultraman Max||ウルトラマンマックス||"Urutoraman Makkusu"||Select episodes from TV cartoon series|
|The Great Yokai War||妖怪大戦争||Yokai Daisenso||Film|
|2006||Big Bang Love, Juvenile A
4.6 Billion Years Of Love
|４６億年の恋||46-okunen no koi||Feature film|
|Imprint episode from Masters of Horror||n/a||n/a||TV episode|
|(Waru: kanketsu-hen)||(unknown)||Waru: kanketsu-hen||Film|
|Sun Scarred||(unknown)||Taiyo no kizu||Film|
|2007||Sukiyaki Western: Django||(unknown)||(unknown)||Film|
- Neighbour No. 13
- Ryu ga Gotoku
"I go to the dentist, not a shrink." (interview with Daniel Robert Epstein)
"Me, a 'Master of Horror'? I'm the guy that made 'Salaryman Kintaro'!" (Miike about his movie for the Masters of Horror series)
- Mes, Tom. Agitator: The Cinema of Takashi Miike. Godalming: FAB Press, 2003. ISBN 1-903254-21-3
- Williams, Tony. "Takashi Miike's Cinema of Outrage." cineACTION 64 (2004): 54-62
- "Izo: Takashi Miike's History Lesson." Asian Cinema 16.2 (2005): 85-109.
 External links
- Takashi Miike at the Internet Movie Database
- Suicide is for the Birds: Takashi Miike's Tales of De-territorializing Flight at Fantasia 2003 and Beyond
- 2002 Interview at the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film
- SuicideGirls interview with Miike by Daniel Robert Epstein
- Takashi Miike Films Introduction
- (Italian) dinaMiike - Italian website dedicated to Takashi Miike
- (Japanese) Takashi Miike at the Japanese Movie Database
- Interview with Takashi Miike by Mark Schilling
- Interview on midnighteye.com
- Interview with Miike regarding his Yakuza work on on 1UP.com