Achilles and the Tortoise

  • 119'
  • Japan
  • 2008
'Beat' Takeshi, as the famous Japanese film maker is known in his own country, has long been more than the maker of supple, hard gangster films. In Japan he is primarily a comic TV personality, and the comic element has also become increasingly important in his films. Kitano, to call him by his internationally familiar family name, has developed a very idiosyncratic and absurd kind of humour that occasionally has little to do with comedy as a genre. Kitano’s humour is crazier, more absurd and also more ambitious. In his latest films, he is basically involved in a grand autobiographical project in which he has become the centre of an absurdist philosophy.
Achilles and the Tortoise focuses on painting. Kitano himself does not seem present much at first, but as the life portrait of a painter unfolds, he finally plays the artist when he's an old man. And all the paintings in the film he made himself. This is often ambiguous, because he ridicules his own serious art.
The film follows the young Machisu in his desire to be a painter. From adulthood to old age, artistry and finding a personal style remain a problem for him. That sounds like a classic story, but count on strange turns. The title was taken from the classical logical paradox that 'proves' that a hare cannot beat a tortoise at running. (GjZ)


Director
Kitano Takeshi
Country of production
Japan
Production Year
2008
Festival Edition
IFFR 2009
Length
119'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Akires to kame
Language
Japanese
Producers
Mori Masayuki, Yoshida Takio
Production Company
Office Kitano Inc
Sales
Celluloid Dreams
Screenplay
Kitano Takeshi
Cinematography
Yanagijima Katsumi
Editor
Ota Yoshinori
Production Design
Isoda Norihiro
Sound Design
Horiuchi Senji
Music
Kajiura Yuki
Cast
Beat Takeshi
Website
http://celluloid-dreams.com/celluloid_dreams_library/b/achilles_and_the_tortoise