News from Paris: Kitano

This spring Paris is under the sign of Kitano. Japanese filmmaker (Sonatine, Hana-bi, Zatoichi a. o.), actor, TV presenter, comedian, painter, singer, poet and writer Takeshi Kitano (born 1947 in Tokyo) is everywhere. He has a big exhibition at le Fondation Cartier, le Centre Pompidou is running a retrospective of all his films, his first autobiography outside of Japan is being published, his film Achilles and the Tortoise (2008) is out in the cinemas and he’s presenting his latest film Outrage (2010) in the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival.

Since March, the cinemas at le Centre Pompidou (Beaubourg among Parisians), is showing the retrospective Takeshi Kitano, l’iconoclaste: 40 films, TV films and documents (many unreleased), the most complete retrospective ever on Kitano’s oeuvre as filmmaker and actor. (Beaubourgs retrospectives are great, last year we were spoiled with a complete program of absolutely all of Werner Herzog’s films).

All screenings until June 26: (link to the Pompidou site)

Parallel to the retrospective, le Fondation Cartier (situated in Jean Nouvel’s transparent glass building since 1994) is showing an exhibition of Kitano’s artwork. The project is an invitation from le Fondation Cartier and it is the first time Kitano, under the name of Beat Takeshi Kitano, is showing his work. Kitano explains: “With this exhibition, I was attempting to expand the definition of “art,” to make it less conventional, less snobby, more casual and accessible to everyone”. The exhibition is a mixture of paintings, installations and screens showing his TV shows, set up as a playful amusement park, an interactive universe meant to address children in particular. As Kitano mentions himself: “If somebody consider that it is not art, I won’t feel insulted”.

Art or not art, frankly, my eight-year-old daughter and me couldn’t care less, if only it’s funny, interesting, beautiful, impressive… Unfortunately neither were the case!

But go see for yourself:

Gosse de peintre, Beat Takeshi Kitano, Fondation Cartier, 261 bd Raspail, Paris 14e. Until September 12, 2010.

Kitano par Kitano (Grasset 2010): Kitano’s first autobiography outside of Japan based on conversations with the Tokyo-based French journalist Michel Temman.


Takeshi Kitano, l’imprévisible (MK2 1999, 68 min.) by Jean-Pierre Limosin, in the series “Cinéma de notre temps”, Centre Pompidou Cinéma 2: June 12.

Jam Session (1999, 93 min.) by Makoto Shinosaki, Centre Pompidou Cinéma 2: Mai 23 and June 6.

Photo: © Takeshi Kitano dans “Sonatine, Mélodie mortelle”, 1993 (c) Bandai Visual, Shochiku Co., Ltd./Studio Canal, Tamasa Distribution-Collection TCD (Daniel Bouteiller) (c) Centre Pompidou, direction de la communication, conception graphique : Ch. Beneyton

Share your love
Sara Thelle
Sara Thelle
Articles: 39