Kitano at Moscow

The wideshows this morning were showing Kitano Takeshi at the Moscow Film Festival, where he is receiving a lifetime achievement award. He was joking that usually "jiji" ("grandpas") win such awards at the end of their careers. He certainly deserves it, but it reminded me of the problem I faced when writing my book on him: ideally, this is something to write when his career is over, but since I completed my manuscript, he has released one film and is about to release another. The book's not selling enough--and his most recent films have not been successful enough--that I think I'd be asked to write a second edition. Probably my career with him is over, but I hope his continues.

The Moscow Film Festival, by the way, seems to have changed. It used to be the place where the old left filmmakers in Japan used to show their independent works and win awards: Shindo Kaneto won a ton of awards there, and other social realists like Yamamoto Satsuo, Kumai Kei, and Oguri Kohei were often featured.  Now everyone looked so glitzy on TV. 

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