The award-winning art film "Hana-Bi, "the stoic gangster elegy "Sonatine, "the surfer romance "A Scene at the Sea, "the absurdist comedy "Getting Any?, "the entertainment samurai spectacle "Zatoichi"--very different films made under one name, Kitano Takeshi. Who is Kitano Takeshi?--an artistic auteur in the traditional sense or a new kind of star who manages multiple identities, strategically changing them from film to film and situation to situation? This book explores issues of auteurship and stardom in the films of Kitano Takeshi, especially as they relate to problems of personal and national identity in a Japan confronting an age of globalization. Aaron Gerow combines a detailed account of Japanese film and criticism with unique close analyses of Kitano's films from "Violent Cop "to "Takeshis. "
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