Agitator, madman or stunning genius?

December 26, 2005 at 10:50 am (J-Movies, Miike Takashi)

Takashi MIIKE
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“In my opinion, he represents quite possibly the single greatest directorial talent ever unleashed upon the world of cinema…”

~ 72HW

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Born on August 24, 1960 on the outskirts of Osaka in a small town called Yao, Miike was a young teen when his father took him to see his first movie: Steven Spielberg’s Duel. From there he later developed an avid admiration for Bruce Lee, the only person of which he professes being a true fan, and thus began young Miike’s journey into motion pictures. After trying on many different hats for size he enrolled in a Yokohama school of broadcasting, later stating about the decision “It really sounded like the ideal chance to escape home and do nothing.”

At first working only on TV productions, he eventually found opportunities to join film crews and eventually came under the wing of Shohei Imamura in 1987 where creative urges began to take shape. Four short years later the headstrong, now very motivated upstart had clawed his way to 1st Assistant Director and caught the attention of Toei studio heads who gave him a shot directing a title for their emerging V-Cinema product line. This straight to video marketing strategy would quickly prove to be an unprecedented money machine and Miike would fast become its bleeding edge poster boy.

In the 16 years since his V-Cinema debut Miike has directed a whirlwind over 60 films ranging from shockingly violent to serenely beautiful, clinically coherent to nightmarishly discordant and everything in between. A large number of which have won praise from all quarters, earned him a ravenous cult following and not only changed the shape and texture of Japanese film, but arguably the entire industry around the world.

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