Close Up

8 - 20 May 2022: Sonatine


Takeshi Kitano, 1993, 94 min
Japanese with English subtitles  

Murakawa (‘Beat' Takeshi), an established and ruthless gangster, is sent to intervene in a gang war on the island of Okinawa. When the situation takes a turn for the worse, Murakawa and his men are forced to retreat into hiding, but it’s not long before their enemies track them down. A final and breathtaking showdown becomes inevitable. Kitano's fourth feature was the first to make a splash at international film festivals, playing at Cannes (Un Certain Regard) in 1993, and is arguably the most successful of his early films in distilling his signature blend of deadpan violence and warped whimsy.

Part of our Essential Cinema series