Achilles and the Tortoise

a TAKESHI KITANO picture

Go to the synopsis.

Title

Achilles and the Tortoise

Director

Takeshi Kitano

Producer

Masayuki Mori, Takio Yoshida

Nationality

Japan

Year

2008

Duration

119'

Language

Japanese

Format

Dolby SRD

Ratio

1:85

Original Title

Autoreiji sai shūshō

Synopsis

Synopsis


Machisu, the only son of a rich collector, has a child’s love for painting. Praise from a famous artist friend of his father inspires the young boy to dream of becoming a painter himself. Precocious Machisu begins to paint everyday and everywhere, even during class, to the dismay of his teacher. When tragedy strikes, little Machisu’s privileged life ends, leaving him orphaned, but with an incomparable passion for art …


As a young man, poor loner Machisu manages to attend art school with money earned from working. He is introduced to an unconventional world of bold creativity but he also gets his first bitter taste of harsh criticism from a dealer. Encouragement comes in the form of attractive clerk Sachiko who is convinced that she alone understands him. Marriage is soon followed by a daughter, as love and hope drive Machisu to commit even more deeply to his art …


Upon reaching middle age, Machisu has yet to sell a painting. But he remains dedicated, supported by his devoted wife Sachiko, who has become his indispensable creative partner. With each new work, Machisu tries to push himself to greater limits of inspiration. Hungry for recognition, their creative attempts escalate beyond what neighbors and even their own teenaged daughter Mari can tolerate. Will Achilles ever overtake the Tortoise?

Synopsis

Stills

Press

"An inspired piece of work."

Film Journal International

"Kitano retains a marvellous eye and a flair for slapstick and action."

The Guardian

"Biting and often very funny depiction of the artist as a madman… He keeps it all interesting with much black humor and makes his point clearly that, like beauty, art is in the eye of the beholder… an enjoyable, if in the end sentimental, portrait of a man consumed with and driven mad by his passion for art."

The Hollywood Reporter

"A rondo of comic sketches."

Variety

"Glorious symphony of colours… wicked sense of humour in each character… superb camera work and a striking collection of Kitano’s own paintings… smooth staging, trademark Kitano deadpan acting and cruel streak of irony."

Screen Daily

"Achilles and the Tortoise is a quiet, meditative bit of work from Kitano, the humor – it is frequently very funny – drawing more quiet smiles than outright laughs. It is elegantly constructed and well acted."

Twitch

"Beautiful and memorable."

The Telegraph

"Takeshi Kitano highlights the great lengths artists go to create their art."

CBS NEWS

"Charming."

BBC

Festivals
& Awards

Venice International Film Festival

Toronto International Film Festival

Sofia International Film Festival
Audience Award

Cast & Crew

Takeshi Kitano
Higuchi Kanako
Yanagi Yurei
Aso Kumiko
Nakao Akira
Ibu Masatoh
Yoshioka Reo
Tsutsui Mariko
Ohsugi Ren
Enjouji Aya
Tokunaga Eri
Omori Nao
Written and Directed by Takeshi Kitano
Producers Masayuki Mori, Takio Yoshida
Line Producer Shinji Komiya
Associate Producers Satoshi Kubo, Michihiko Umezawa
Kazuhiro Ohta, Tetsuya Nasuno
Cinematography Katsumi Yanagijima
Sound Senji Horiuchi
Editors Takeshi Kitano, Yoshinori Ota
Music Yuki Kajiura

Releases

US - Tokyo Theatres K.K.

03.11.2008

Taiwan - Filmware International

24.07.2009

Russia - Maywin Media

23.04.2009

France - Océan Films

10.03.2010