Shinozaki (whose documentary Jam Session remains the best portrait of Takeshi Kitano) proves the right man to film Kitano's memoir of his early years in the stripclubs and variety theatres of Tokyo's Asakusa district. A night sleeping on the streets persuades the young Takeshi (Suidobashi) to swap his leather jacket for a sky-blue happi coat and start working as a janitor in a stripclub. Many months later - months spent practising tap dance, learning from his mentor Fukami, going out with a stripper - he steps out on the vaudeville stage in a spangly white suit as one half of The Two Beats. This was made on a shoestring for a Japanese cable channel, but its movie brat director fills it with reminiscences of genre movies of the '60s, from working class comedies to Kumashiro sex films. The book was adapted by Dankan (star of Ikinai and longstanding member of the 'Takeshi-gumi' stable of comedians), who puts in a brief appearance. Funny, charming and only a shade over-extended.
Cast and crew