If Takashi Miike had his way, his biography would be rife with violence that would make the reader squeamish and depictions of the world that would raise questions about the potential goodness of man. The Japanese filmmaker made a living depicting unsettling images of ultra violence on film, whether through theatrical movies or direct-to-video V-Cinema productions. While he occasionally broke that mold in other genres, Miike's work focused on violence and sexual perversions, all presented in an over-the-top manner equally unsettling and cartoonish. Born in Osaka, Japan, Miike grew up in the '60s and '70s, mostly dreaming of racing motorbikes instead of filmmaking. When he was ready to head off to university, he settled on attending the Yokohama Vocational School of Broadcast and Film, primarily because there wasn't an entrance exam. He found himself making use of his time under the tutelage of celebrated Japanese filmmaker Shohei Imamura. It took him quite a while, as he continued to rebel and skip classes far too often, but after his tenure at Yokohama, he moved onto creating direct-to-video films in the 1990s that were a part of the V-Cinema craze. V-Cinema were known for allowing filmmakers more freedom, which let Miike let his hair down and hone his controversial skill and talent for off-color and risky content such as "A Human Murder Weapon" (1992) and "Bodyguard Kiba" (1993). After about a dozen direct-to-video productions over a span of four years, Miike made his theatrical debut with "Shinjuku Triad Society" (1995), which helped Miike put his stamp on the world of film, as his debut featured extreme violence and just an overall level of weirdness that no one else was really doing at the time. "Shinjuku Triad Society" was the start of his Black Triad trilogy, a series of films that all involved the yakuza and Triads. He continued to work in the V-Cinema space over the next few years, as he finished off his Black Triad trilogy with "Rainy Dog" (1997) and "Ley Lines" (1999). He expanded his international profile with two more films, including the psychological horror movie "Audition" (1999) that was known for the high amount of audience walk-outs during its showcase at numerous film festivals. His next trilogy drew more attention when it kicked off with "Dead or Alive" (1999), which garnered a United States release. Once again, he focused on the Triads and yakuza in an ultra-violent affair, drawing ire at film festivals. The final part of his own unlabelled trilogy of audience walk-outs, Miike adapted the manga "Ichi the Killer" (2001) into a highly controversial and extremely violent film. The movie was outright rejected by many ratings boards, and once again, was widely derided at film festivals for its extreme content. While his star was cast as an overly violent auteur, Miike made more than just offensive, violent films. He regularly dove into other genres, such as the light-hearted drama "Salaryman Kintaro" (1999) or the kids movies "Zebraman" (2004) and "The Great Yokai War" (2005). He continued to seemingly alternate between family-friendly content and his more renowned violence on a whim. The samurai epics "Thirteen Assassins" (2010) and "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) were two of his acclaimed works during this period. But even with the more adult content of those two films, he still had a hand in the world of more light-hearted anime and children's films, creating "Yatterman" (2009), "Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City" (2010), and even the video game adaptation "Ace Attorney" (2012).
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Major film debut with "Shinjuku Triad Society."
Made international debut as "Dead or Alive," "Audition"
The release of "Ichi the Killer" was met with immense controversy
Directed "13 Assassins," one of his most acclaimed films