Boiling Point is a 1990 Japanese crime drama both directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano. The film follows the story of a meek and unassuming gas station attendant named Masaki (played by Yûrei Yanagi), who takes it upon himself to seek revenge after his friend and baseball coach is attacked and humiliated by Yakuza gang members.
The film is notable for its slow, deliberate pacing as well as its surreal, dreamlike atmosphere. Throughout the film, Kitano uses striking visual imagery to convey a sense of detachment and disorientation, which is mirrored in the film’s fragmented narrative structure.
Boiling Point was Kitano’s second feature film as a director, following his debut with Violent Cop the year before. The film helped established Kitano as a major talent in Japanese cinema and paved the way for his subsequent directorial efforts, which would include acclaimed films like Sonatine and Hana-bi.
How was Boiling Point Recieved Critically?
Since its release Boiling Point has gone on to become a cult classic and is widely regarded as one of Takeshi Kitano’s most influential and significant works. Critics often note the film’s unconventional structure and blend of genres, with elements of crime, black comedy and sports all thrown together in a way that is uniquely Kitano’s.
Here are some examples of quotes from critics:
“Takeshi Kitano’s Boiling Point is a nightmare of a film that doesn’t play by any of the usual rules of filmmaking. It’s slow, it’s relentless, and it’s often absurd, but it’s also a work of raw, uncompromising power.”
“Boiling Point is a masterpiece of deadpan humor and brutal violence, a film that dares to explore the darkest corners of the human psyche and emerge with something oddly beautiful.”
“There is a bleakness and a nihilism to Boiling Point that is both terrifying and exhilarating. Kitano is a master of tone, able to shift from deadpan humor to sudden bursts of violence with unsettling ease.”
About the Director – Takeshi Kitano
Takeshi Kitano, born on January 18, 1947 in Adachi, Tokyo, Japan, is a renowned actor, comedian, and filmmaker who is highly regarded for his exploration of the Japanese Yakuza gangster genre in his films.
While starting his career in the 1970s as a comedian and television host, Kitano rose to fame as one-half of the popular comedy duo “Two Beat,” earning himself the widely recognized nickname “Beat Takeshi.”
In 1989, Kitano made his directorial debut with “Violent Cop,” which was initially intended for Kinji Fukasaku. Fukasaku had to step down due to scheduling conflicts, leading Kitano to take on the directorial duties himself, while also starring in the film’s leading role.
Takeshi Kitano is not only a prominent figure in the entertainment industry but also in Japanese popular culture. His contributions to cinema and comedy have earned him a significant place in the hearts of the Japanese people.
In addition to his successful career in film and television, Kitano has also made a name for himself as a writer, poet and painter. He even once helped create a Nintendo Famicom game called Takeshi no Chōsenjō (The Ultimate Challenge from Beat Takeshi) and has appeared in the hugely popular video games series Yakuza (Like a Dragon).
More Yakuza Movies by Takeshi Kitano
Takeshi Kitano is well known for his work in the Yakuza movie genre. Here are some other movies related to the Yakuza that he has directed.