ROME FILM FESTIVAL – Maverick Director Award to Takashi Miike

16 | 25 October 2014

Maverick Director Award to Takashi Miike: the 2014 Festival celebrates one of the most original and eclectic auteurs in contemporary cinema
His latest film, Kamisama no iutoori (As the Gods Will), to world premiere in Rome

The Japanese director, screenwriter, actor, and film producer Takashi Miike, considered one of the most original and prolific auteurs in contemporary cinema, will receive the 2014 Maverick Director Award during the 9th Rome Film Festival (October, 16 – 25, 2014, the Auditorium Parco della Musica), directed by Marco Müller. The award is dedicated to filmmakers who have contributed to the invention of a new, original, and unconventional cinema. Miike, adored by millions of fans around the world for the innovative, edgy, extreme, and ironic style of his films and for his extraordinary ability to cross-fertilize and experiment with all types of genres and styles, will accept his award on the occasion of the world premiere screening of his new film, Kamisama no iutoori (As the Gods Will).

Marco Müller, Artistic Director of the Rome Film Festival, commented on the choice as follows: “For the recurring power of his creative imagination and the courage of his ideas, Miike Takashi is a filmmaker who is absolutely beyond compare. Every one of his films is a breakneck race through a uncannily poetic and surprisingly political imagination. His sense of cinema and the pleasure of filming were already evident in his earliest works (straight-to-video movies and low-budget films); they have effortlessly edged in, despite his current creative speed (three to four films per year), hence his style continues to assert itself each time, both in his adaptation of hit mangas and in commissioned films honed to become blockbusters (which reveal moments of extraordinary figurative concentration). Prolific, nomadic, versatile, stubborn, unnerving (and at times melancholy), Miike has tried his hand at every genre: when he has chosen to shatter them it has always been to recompose them better in unpredictable mixes. Always catching us unprepared (even when you are familiar with the source or the subject, you will be surprised by the direction that the images take), Miike is arguably the least compliant of all the contemporary maverick directors”.

Considered by Quentin Tarantino to be “one of the greatest living directors”, Miike has always contributed to pushing the limits of the visible and reconsidering the boundaries that divide “populist” practices, genre and auteur visions in some of the most beloved and controversial films in recent years. A student of Imamura Shohei and Hideo Onchi, since his debut in 1991 with Toppuu! Minipato tai – Aikyachi Jankushon, Miike has rewritten the rules of popular Japanese cinema, creating a universe filled with violent and contradictory emotions that capture the manias and obsessions of life in Japan, with exact critical insight.
His endless filmography counts nearly 100 films: from Audition (1999), listed as one of the “25 Scariest ‘90s Movies” and one of the “20 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die”, to Lesson of the Evil (2012), screened in competition at the Rome Film Festival, Miike has left his mark on the history of genre cinema with his unmistakably brutal, always visually brilliant, cultured and above all, uncensored approach, devoid of all moralism. Competing in the Orizzonti section in Venice in 2004 with Izo, a visionary parable about the presence of evil in history, he returned to the Venice Film Festival three years later with Sukiyaki Western Django, an irreverent pop-punk version of a spaghetti-western. He was in competition again in 2010 with 13 Assassins, a samurai epic set in the Edo period and compared by critics to the best of Akira Kurosawa’s films. In 2011 and in 2013, Miike was at Cannes Film Festival in Competition with Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai and Straw Shield. In 2012 he was at the Rome Film Festival with The Lesson of the Evil and the following year with The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji (in competition) and Blue Planet Brothers (out of competition).
His films have become part of the collective imagery of the contemporary world.
Works such as Fudoh: The New Generation (1996), a mutant yakuza-movie, the trilogy D.O.A. – Dead or Alive (1999-2002) or the ultra-violent Ichi the Killer (2001), not to mention impossible –to-classify films such as The Bird People in China (1998), Big Bang Love, Gozu (2003), Juvenile A (2006) and For Love’s Sake (2012), may rightfully claim their place as film classics of our time.

A selected filmography

· Bodyguard Kiba (Bodigaado Kiba, 1993)
· Shinjuku Outlaw (Shinjuku autoroo, 1994)
· Shinjuku Triad Society (Shinjuku kuroshakai: Chaina mafia sensō, 1995)
· Fudoh: The New Generation (Gokudō sengokushi – Fudō, 1996)
· Rainy Dog (Gokudō kuroshakai, 1997)
· Full Metal Yakuza (Full Metal gokudō, 1997)
· The Bird People in China (Chūgoku no chōjin, 1998)
· Andromedia (Andoromedia, 1998)
· Audition (Ōdishon, 1999)
· Ley Lines (Nihon kuroshakai, 1999)
· Dead or Alive (Deddo oa araibu: Hanzaisha, 1999)
· The City of Lost Souls (Hyōryūgai, 2000)
· Dead or Alive 2: Birds (Dead or Alive 2: Tōbōsha, 2000)
· Visitor Q (Bijita Q, 2001)
· Ichi the Killer (Koroshiya Ichi, 2001)
· Agitator (Araburu tamashiitachi, 2001)
· The Happiness of the Katakuris (Katakurike no kōfuku, 2001)
· Dead or Alive: Final (2002)
· Graveyard of Honor (Shin jingi no hakaba, 2002)
· Shangri-La (Kin’yuu hametsu Nippon – Tōgenkyō no hito-bito, 2002)
· Deadly Outlaw: Rekka (Jitsuroku Andō Noboru kyōdō den: rekka, 2002)
· Gozu (Gokudō kyōfu daigekijō – Gozu, 2003)
· Kikoku (2003)
· One Missed Call (Chakushin ari, 2003)
· Zebraman (Zeburaaman, 2004)
· Izo (IZŌ, 2004)
· The Great Yokai War (Yōkai daisensō, 2005)
· Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (46 oku nen no koi, 2006)
· Waru (2006)
· Sun Scarred (Taiyō no kizu, 2006)
· Like a Dragon (Ryū ga kotoku: Gekijōban, 2007)
· Sukiyaki Western Django (Sukiyaki Uesutan Jango, 2007)
· Detective Story (Tantei monogatari, 2007)
· Crows Zero (Kurōzu zero, 2007)
· God’s Puzzle (Kamisama no pazuru) (2008)
· Yatterman (Yattâman, 2009)
· Crows Zero II (Kurōzu zero II, 2009)
· Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City (Zeburâman: Zebura Shiti no gyakushû, 2010)
· 13 Assassins (Jûsan-nin no shikaku, 2010)
· Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (Ichimei, 2011)
· Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban, 2012)
· The Lesson of the Evil (Aku no kyôten, 2012)
· For Love’s Sake (Ai to Makoto, 2012)
· Shield of Straw (Wara No Tate, 2013)
· The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji (Mogura no uta – sennyû sôsakan: Reiji, 2013)
· Over Your Dead Body (Kuime, 2014)
· As the Gods Will (Kamisama no iutoori, 2014)


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