Japanese director Kitano defends grisly gangster flick
VENICE, Italy (AFP) - Japan's Takeshi Kitano on Monday defended the explicit violence in his new gangster flick Outrage Beyond and said it felt right to include references to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Kitano also conceded that his film - a complex tale of warring yakuza families that is a sequel to his 2009 film Outrage - was aimed at a wider foreign audience since his Japan fan base was dwindling.
"I'm not a director who is appreciated in Japan a great deal, but I thought abroad I could get greater visibility with a sequel," he said at the Venice film festival where his entry is among 18 vying for the Golden Lion.
Kitano stars in the slickly-shot film as Otomo, the rumoured-dead boss of a family once crushed by the Sanno crime clan, who gets out of prison and goes on a revenge spree through a world of guns, luxury cars and nighttime meets. Corruption in the police and the government - particularly in the environment ministry in the wake of the tsunami - is a central theme of the film, which has the feel of a Japanese Godfather movie.