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Monday September 259:45pm
Director: Takeshi Kitano
1997 / 103min / 35mm
The two sides of Kitano’s directorial personality, the warm, tender, observant dramatist and the master of controlled chaos, merge effortlessly in this, perhaps his best-loved film. Retired detective Nishi (Kitano) turns to duplicitous means to look after his dying wife (Kayoko Kishimoto) and his wheelchair-bound ex-partner (Ren Osugi), but when the yakuza come to collect on a debt, well, he has to take care of them, too. The title means “Fireworks,” and they’re glorious.
“Some of my all-time favorite protagonists are stoic men with mushy hearts. The obsession didn’t start with Hana-bi, but Takeshi Kitano’s Nishi is hard to top.”—Meg West