After the success of Zaitochi, the actor director returns with a very personal work, set in a vertiginous and mysterious abyss.

Takeshi Kitano surprised everyone by being the surprise guest at the Mostra in Venice with Takeshis?. "Beat" Takeshi, the actor accostumed to play yakusas (Japanese gangsters), crosses the paths of his double, a failed comical actor. This former then begins a fantastic life marked by life of this rolemodel. Based on a ten years old idea, that should have been called Fractals, a title which summarizes its twisted construction where one does not know where fantasy begins and reality ends. And confusion becomes total when the author sweeps any attempt at interpretation, of this vertiginous abyss which could mark a turning of its career, away.

Alain Lorfevre: Do you take real pleasure to make films? One feels a certain disillusion compared to the universe in which you became and now is know as a respected celebrity.

Kitano Takeshi: That is exactly what I attempted to do with this film. I didn?t want to make a film, which too easily would be catalogued or understood. I wanted to make the audience share the frustration and the difficulties I experience when I make films. If I succeeded in that, I am very happy.

It is a compliment! I have to point out, that I never had much pleasure in making films. Especially not making this one, which required a script and a structure beyond the complexity of what I usually make. I initially made a very precise draft of film before smashing it into parts with a bludgeon and pickung up the scattered pieces. It was something very unusual for me to do.

Does this film announce a new chapter of your career as an actor, since you kill "Beat" Takeshi symbolically?

I didn?t really make that scene to suggest any hidden message. But it is not impossible that I have reached a certain point in my career of actor, as director or even with television. Perhaps I will retire to my grave, where I then can rest underground and avoid agitation.

The English title of film can be seen as a reference to many views of Takeshi which exist and which are all mine. But in Japanese, that can also mean "Takeshi dies".

Is the truth of film Takeshi the truth of the life of Kitano all the time?

Not at all. It is not a psychological confession! The two characters are only two accessories, but I became more interested in playing around with my image, or more precise with the perception that I have of how the public percieves me as a person with a huge ego on the small screen. The duality of the film is inspired by an experiment I did when I was trying to become a comic and ran between auditions.

By Alain Lorfevre (La Libre Belgique, September 5, 2005). All rights are reserved by Alain Lorfevre and La Libre Belgique. The interview is reproduced by Kitanotakeshi.com. Translation by Henrik Sylow.