1990, Film Movement, 96 min, Japan, Dir: Takeshi Kitano

When gangsters attack the coach of a small-time baseball team, two players decide to seek revenge in this action-packed and mordantly funny crime film from writer-director Takeshi Kitano. To purchase the requisite firepower, the pair (Masahiko Ono and Minoru Iizuka) travel to Okinawa, where they are befriended by Uehara (Kitano), an unhinged yakuza with his own axes to grind. In Japanese with English subtitles.

1989, Film Movement, 103 min, Japan, Dir: Takeshi Kitano

Originally a TV comedian, “Beat” Takeshi Kitano defied expectations to make his directorial debut with this tough-as-nails crime drama. He stars as Azuma, a police detective notorious for roughing up suspects, whose ruthless tactics become indistinguishable from those of the gangster he pursues after his sister is kidnapped by yakuza. VIOLENT COP showcases the spare shooting style, nihilistic worldview and deadpan humor that have made Kitano one of Japan’s most revered contemporary filmmakers. In Japanese with English subtitles.

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