FESTIVAL OF NEW JAPANESE FILM: OUTRAGE CODA (アウトレイジ 最終章) (AUTOREIJI SAISHUSHO) (Takeshi Kitano, 2017)
333 East 47th St. at First Ave.
Saturday, July 28, 5:15
Series runs July 19-29
The annual Japan Cuts series continues July 28 with the New York premiere of Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage: Coda, the finale in his yakuza series that began in 2010 with Outrage, followed two years later by Beyond Outrage. It’s not exactly the meeting of the five families in The Godfather when clan leaders get together as former stock trader Nomura (Ren Osugi) considers stepping down from his role as boss and selecting a replacement. Jockeying for various positions are the old school Nishino (Toshiyuki Nishida), the big, not too bright Hanada (Pierre Taki), the deeply pensive Nakata (Sansei Shiomi), and the sharp, cool Chang (Tokio Kaneda), who seems to have stepped right out of an episode of the original Hawaii Five-O. Detective Shigeta (Yutaka Matsushige) is on the case, watching it all very carefully, especially when round-faced Otomo (Kitano, who goes by the name Beat Takeshi as an actor) returns after a stint on Jeju Island in Korea.
Don’t try to make too much sense of the nonsensical plot, which involves multiple double crosses, endless betrayals, devious conniving, doofy decision making, and ridiculous twists as Kitano (Kikujiro, Zatōichi) has fun playing with genre conventions and composer Keiichi Suzuki’s award-winning score soars. Characters regularly treat one another like kids, calling their cohorts stupid idiots like Moe insulting Larry and Curly. (Kitano is a comedian as well.) Meanwhile, Otomo, the coolest of customers, is up to something, guns blazing, all captured splendidly by cinematographer Katsumi Yanagijima. Oh, and just wait till you see Nomura’s retirement wear. Outrage Coda is screening at Japan Society on July 28 at 5:15; Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film continues through July 29 with such other works as Masayuki Suo’s Abnormal Family, Akiko Ohku’s Tremble All You Want, Keisuke Yoshida’s Thicker than Water, and House creator Nobuhiko Obayashi’s Hanagatami.