are bloody, melancholic, and wryly hilarious. Kitano, celebrated at Metrograph with this unmissable retrospective, began his career as a director with Violent Cop
(1989) and Boiling Point
(1990), two darkly funny crime melodramas in which he also stars, playing a boyish, id-and-machismo-fueled cross between Buster Keaton and Clint Eastwood. Kitano further refined his stone-faced on-screen persona in such classic arthouse/grindhouse hybrids as the Jacques Tati–esque gangster comedy Sonatine
(1993) and the fatalistic policier Fireworks
(1998), the latter of which features Kitano's most heartbreaking screenplay and some of his most viscerally thrilling filmmaking. Men don't change in Kitano's films, but his style certainly has over the course of almost thirty years. Metrograph's program duly highlights exceptional, rarely screened outliers, from the surreal weepy Dolls
(2002) to the batshit sex comedy Getting Any?
(1995). Come for the lyrical bloodshed, stay for the bizarre The Fly
–inspired jokes."Takeshi Kitano" runs through November 25 at Metrograph. Click here for the schedule.
The best (and, rightfully, most famous) movies by the Japanese comedian-turned-filmmaker