As regards hand-held camera: Thanks to Aaron Gerow for that important
reminder that Japan had a lively cinema in the 20s and 30s with lots of
stylistic flourishes almost unknown to the emerging Hollywood cinema.
And I'll remind everyone that the opening shot (rather lengthy) of
Kurosawa's _Yojimbo_ relies on a hand-held camera at a quite close range to
the star (Mifune); hand-held cinemascope, in fact--even more rare at the
And as for Takeshi Kitano: isn't it "Beat" Takeshi, as in a musical beat?
And his _Sonatine_ played a number of film festivals and museum screenings
in the US, including the Walter Reade Theater in New York. There are no
films of his in circulation in film or video formats however, in the
States. This is a shame. He is clearly the most interesting live-action
filmmaker in Japan today.
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