First Look Trailer for Takeshi Kitano's Epic 'Kubi' Premiering in Cannes
by Alex Billington
May 3, 2023
Kadokawa has revealed the first look teaser for a movie called Kubi, a historical epic from iconic Japanese actor Beat Takeshi. This will be premiering at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival later this month in the Cannes Premiere section. This film was conceived by director Takeshi Kitano around the same time as Sonatine, one of his early masterpieces, and has been in the works for 30 years. It depicts the "Honnoji Incident" along with the ambitions, betrayals, and fates of various characters, including warlords, ninja, comedians, and peasants. The ambitious new film has assembled a splendid and unique cast! Takeshi plays Hideyoshi Hashiba, who plots the "Honnoji Incident," and Hidetoshi Nishijima plays Mitsuhide Akechi. Ryo Kase gives a dubious performance as the mad genius Nobunaga Oda, while Tadanobu Asano and Nao Omori play the military strategist Kanpei Kuroda, who supports Hideyoshi, and his brother Hidenaga Hashiba with a great sense of humor. Also with Shido Nakamura, Yuichi Kimura, Kenichi Endo, Kenta Kiritani, Kaoru Kobayashi, and Ittoku Kishibe. It's called "a rare film, on a scale similar to Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai and Kagemusha, with a tragicomic quality that feels Shakespearean." Bring it on, Takeshi.
Here's the first Japanese teaser trailer for Takeshi Kitano's Kubi, direct from YouTube (found via TFS):
The film depicts the historical "Honno-ji Incident" from 1582, when a key vassal of Oda Nobunaga rose in revolt and caused his master to commit hara-kiri in Kyoto. The reasons for the revolt and whether Akechi Mitsuhide was really the ringleader have been debated ever since. It will explore the ambitions, betrayals, and fates of various characters, including warlords, ninjas, traveling performers, and peasants, and brings out the essence of Kitano's world, including intense violence and dark humor. Kubi is directed by iconic Japanese actor / filmmaker Takeshi Kitano (aka "Beat Takeshi"), director of many films including Violent Cop, Boiling Point, A Scene at the Sea, Sonatine, Fireworks, Dolls, The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi, Achilles to Kame, The Outrage, Beyond Outrage, Outrage Coda, Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen, and Neck previously. Co-directed by Shuta Takahata. The screenplay is written by Takehiko Minato adapted from Takeshi Kitano's novel "The Head". Produced by Kadokawa. The film is premiering at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival in the Premiere section. Takeshi Kitano's Kubi is set to open first in Japan starting in October 2023. No other international release dates are set yet - stay tuned for updates. First impression? Who's in?
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